Where’s the outrage? Portland residents held hostage to continuing violence as mainstream media looks away

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PORTLAND, OR – Despite mostly silence from mainstream media, the residents and businesses in Portland continue to suffer under relentless anti-police riots more than a year after the violence began.

Residents have been held hostage in the city as violence appears no longer tied to protests, but to simple anarchy. One 44-year-old Portlander told The Epoch Times:

“There are brazen shootings and killings in broad daylight which did not happen before this past year. The violence is no longer limited to nights or certain neighborhoods.”

A 64-year-old woman said companies are also struggling in the violent atmosphere that has become daily life in Portland:

“Some companies are having a hard time recruiting employees because people perceive Portland as a dangerous place and don’t want to move here. The violence and especially the perception of lawlessness have very much affected hiring.”

The mainstream media covered the violent protests and riots in Portland for about 60 days following the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin but have widely ignored the continued violence since.

After the initial 60 days of unrest, then-President Donald Trump ordered federal troops to intervene in the city in July 2020. The move was in response to nightly vandalism at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and a fire set at the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct building.

Jason Dunn, U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado in Portland, said at the time:

“(There is) widespread use of rocks, lasers, slingshots loaded with ball-bearings, explosives, and other methods to assault federal employees. There are also nightly attempts by rioters to storm federal buildings and destroy them.”

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After an initial two weeks of intervention by federal troops, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded they leave or be restricted to federal buildings. The call was echoed by several Democratic members of Congress.

Following the removal of federal officers, national media coverage almost completely ended. Yet even the election of Democrat Joe Biden to the presidency and the conviction of Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death have not stopped the violence in Portland.

The Epoch Times reported:

“While most left-wing activists welcomed the Biden inauguration, Portland activists unveiled signs that read “WE DON’T WANT BIDEN—WE WANT REVENGE” and swarmed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, throwing rocks, bottles, and a pepper-like spray from paintball guns.

“’At one point, the air was so thick with gas and smoke that it was difficult to see,’ reported Oregon Live. Demonstrators also smashed the windows of Oregon’s Democratic Party headquarters.”

Riots also broke out following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis in April, which included setting fire to the Portland Police Association headquarters.

Shockingly, riots broke out in Portland following the conviction of Derek Chauvin for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. The conviction was praised by left-wing groups nationwide, except in Portland, where they smashed windows and damaged property.

The residents of Portland are growing weary of the violence and said that a small minority of people are holding the rest of the city hostage. Residents point out that only six percent of Portland is black, and that the violence is primarily caused by young, white Antifa supporters.

Portlanders interviewed said that black and white moderates are afraid to speak out against the violence for fear of reprisals. a downtown Portland employer told reporters:

“My black employees say, ‘We want the police guarding our homes’ and that the violent protestors do not speak for them. Gestapo-like atmosphere that currently exists.

“Friends of mine who survived civil wars in Southeast Asia and other places are especially aghast at the brazen violence that is tolerated in Portland and how criminals are emboldened. They spend one night in jail and are bailed out the next day!”

One reason for the continued violence is placed squarely on the City Council, which cut the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) budget by $18 million in 2020 folding to calls by protesters to defund the police.

PPB Sergeant Kevin Allen said the budget cuts resulted in program cuts and response time issues:

“Certainly, it has made it more difficult for members of the Bureau. We believe the Youth Services Division (school resource officers) was a progressive program. Officers were a caring resource to students and frequently employed restorative justice principles to avoid arresting students. Likewise, we felt that having Portland officers in a dedicated Transit Police Department made the transit system safer. Our Traffic Division was dedicated to making our roads safer.

“That said, we work for the community, and we will be the agency that the community wants. It’s difficult now because due to budgets and staffing issues, our officers spend a lot of time explaining why their responses were delayed or why they can’t engage in an investigation into a crime. Even the ‘low level’ crimes are important to the victim.”

Brian Hunzeker, president of the Portland Police Union, said the budget cuts make it hard to police the violence. He told city leaders in January:

“I would say look at the data that is in front of you. You have reduced and taken away certain divisions of the police force that serve an integral role and you can see the data.”

Hunzeker pointed to the slower response times and the increase in gun violence that coincided with the city’s decision to disband the Gun Violence Reduction Team. He continued:

“Police cannot solve every single gun violence and every single homicide just by increasing numbers, but you can see by stats and data that without the police, they go on the rise.”

In April, Mayor Wheeler, who refused federal help last year, asked the public to stand together to “take the city back” from violent rioters:

“They want to burn, they want to bash, they want to intimidate, they want to assault. Our job is to unmask them, arrest them and prosecute them.”

 

 

 

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