Portland Police union head issues ominous warning – says city is ‘on the precipice of a gang war’ because of gun violence

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PORTLAND, OR – The head of the Portland Police Association, Daryl Turner, recently delivered a statement regarding crime impacting the city. Turner noted in his statement that the city is on the brink “of a gang war,” and steps need to be taken to address the matter.

Portland Police Association Executive Director Turner referred to the situation around gun violence in Portland as being an “elephant in the room” that officials aren’t properly addressing:

“We need to talk about the elephant in the room: gun violence. We are on the precipice of a gang war.”

Data shows that as of May 9th, Portland Police have responded to 357 shootings incidents in 2021 which serves as a 100% increase during that same time period in 2020.

During the summer of 2020, Portland saw an increase in murder and other violent crimes that went in tandem with the near-nightly riots that plagued the city – which reasonably tied up police resources when dealing with said riots.

Another blow to combatting gun crime in the city was the disbanding of the Gun Violence Reduction Team during the summer of 2020, which still has not been reestablished within the Portland Police Bureau.

Turner’s May 13th statement addressed the disbanding of the Gun Violence Reduction Team, noting that the City Council within Portland (which has been the vehicle responsible for defunding the PPB) seems to only use statistics favorable to “their political agendas”:

“For a City Council that claims to be data-driven, they only use data when it serves their political agendas.

“The increase in gun violence is directly related to the loss of the Gun Violence Reduction Team. To ignore this data and continue to shift blame is unacceptable. The GVRT proactively policed with a holistic approach, building partnerships and relationships to get illegal guns off the street.”

“It’s obvious to everyone except for City Council that more guns an increased gang activity mean more violence.”

Reportedly, the City Council is again looking to further pull funding from the PPB to fund “social services” efforts, which Turner says will not do anything to counteract the increase in violent crime:

“The answer is that our community deserves a fully staffed police force with a minimum of 1,000 officers and a full budget commitment to addressing gun violence, and our community deserves adequate social service resources.”

“Forcing us to choose one over the other is short sighted. Social services and alternative resources are not a replacement for police officers and common sense public safety infrastructure.”

Turner pointed out in his statement that Portland residents are experiencing a “sense of hopelessness,” and that people and businesses are fleeing the city due to critical areas not being addressed by officials:

“Right now, our community has a sense of hopelessness. They have resigned themselves to the fact that things will get worse, not better.”

“Residents are moving out of the city, businesses are being forced to relocate, and good, hardworking police officers are leaving the Bureau to work for other agencies.”

“To change course, City Council should fully fund and fully staff the police Bureau and bring back the specialty units that protect and serve our communities.”

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In other news related to Portland, back in April, Mayor Ted Wheeler finally issued calls to push back against the violent protesters and rioters that have plagued the city for nearly a year. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PORTLAND, OR– According to reports, Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists spoke out against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and his call to “unmask” violent protesters. Hours after the mayor’s comments, another riot broke out in the city.

On Friday, April 23rd, Mayor Wheeler said in a statement:

“We must stand together as a community against this ongoing criminal intimidation and violence. Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them. People know who these criminals are.”

Within hours of the mayor’s statements, violence broke out again in Portland following a social media post calling for demonstrators to “Bloc Up.” According to reports, “Bloc Up” is a reference to the Antifa “uniform” of all black clothing, masks, and helmets. 

The social media post called for an “Autonomous Demonstration” at Couch Park in Portland and to “Bloc Up,” making it difficult for police to identify lawbreakers.

Authorities said that as demonstrators began blocking roadways, smashing windows, painting graffiti and forcing their way into a least one occupied restaurant, police declared the incident to be a riot and ordered protesters to leave. 

During Wheeler’s remarks, he extended the city’s state of emergency and directed Police Police Bureau officials to “arrest people engaged in any crimes.” He reportedly supported the police tactics of “kettling,” which refers to boxing people in. 

Wheeler and the acting police chief both urged the public to safely stand up to the black bloc violent demonstrators who continue to plan “direct actions” around the city that routinely end with shattered windows, fires, and other vandalism. 

Both stated that they believe residents are fed up with watching the threats and destruction by a small group of “self-described anarchists.” Wheeler said:

“They want to burn. They want to bash, like they did to the nonprofit Boys and Girls club in Northeast. Really they want to intimidate. They want to assault.”

He added:

“If BLM leaders can show the courage to stand up to this mob, then we all should. Make a stand and take our city back.”

According to reports, following the riot on Friday, April 23rd, one of many this month alone, Black Lives Matter activists and other “protesters and community leaders” marched on city hall to protest the mayor’s call for action.

Amber Boydston, a speaker at the protest on Saturday, April 24th, was one of dozens of black Oregonians who drafted an open letter aimed at those participating in demonstrations. The letter said, in part:

“Actions that neither increase solidarity nor broadcast purpose while making the lives of local black communities more difficult are not acceptable.”

The letter also talked about concern with police violence, but the group alleges the mayor misused those words in his call to extend the state of emergency. Protest Mac Smiff added:

“I would appreciate it if people would listen to the words that we say and read the words that we say, absorb the words that we say, think on the words that we say, but stop adding your own lends to it. Sometimes you have to be quiet and listen.”

On Monday night, April 19th, a group of about 80 people gathered in Northeast Portland and some smashed windows at the Blazers Boys & Girls Club, causing nearly $20,000 in damage to the club.

On Friday, April 16th, a large demonstration downtown erupted into a riot that left the front windows of the First Christian Church broke, anti-police messages scrawled on the exterior of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and windows smashed at the Oregon Historical Society.

The extended state of emergency gives the mayor the power to set a curfew, blockade streets, or call in extra officers from the Oregon State Police, and Oregon National Guard, if deemed necessary. 

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