Report: Sacramento Police were ordered to stand down during the latest riot while vandals attacked the city

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SACRAMENTO, CA –Many large metropolitan areas have been inundated with riots and looting since the death of George Floyd in police custody in May of this year. 

Some of these riots have resulted in blood shed and the injuring of hundreds of police overall. 

Police responses during these riots have been significantly controlled in areas like Portland and Seattle, and now, we can add Sacramento Police Department to that list. 

The California Globe reports that the agency was ordered to stand down.

In a recent riot in Sacramento, California, Antifa organized a protest/riot on August 27th and the 28th

The event, dubbed “Solidarity with Kenosha” was promoted on social media feeds by the Sacramento chapter of Antifa.  A picture which promoted the event stated, “don’t snitch” and “no good cops” followed by “no peace police.” 

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Credit SPD

The Antifa event started with members on loudspeakers informing the crowd if they were not willing to be arrested that they should leave. 

The group that remained then began a march going from different government buildings until they landed at the Chavez Plaza. 

During their chaos, Antifa members vandalized whatever they could, spray painting glass on different buildings.  They also broke into the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and set a fire inside – thankfully that fire was put out quickly.

Sacramento Police reported that they had made no arrests during the riots but would follow up on evidence in cases of vandalism. 

Now we’re learning that the police department had been ordered to stand down, which may be why there were no arrests made and significant damage done to the area.

The California Globe reports that due to Sacramento’s order to stand down, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office had to step in and protect several areas in the city, including the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. 

The Mayor from Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, said that dealing with the riots was “challenging” but gave no information as to whether or not his police department was ordered to stand down during the riot.

Steinberg said:

“The last two nights have been challenging for our city.  Any damage to public and private buildings is wrong.  But it is also important to have perspective, especially where other cities have experienced injuries, deaths, and large-scale destruction.

“In Sacramento over the past two nights, property damage has been minimal and no one has been seriously injured. 

Chief Hahn and the Police Department’s strategy of maintaining a strong presence while deescalating potential violence has prevented what could have been a worse outcome.  We are not out of the woods yet I know.  Thank you, Chief Hahn, for leading both smart and strong.”

However well intended the Mayor’s message was, it was not received well by some citizens of his city, according to the California Globe. 

They said that the Mayor needs to “look inward and focus on his sole responsibility, which is the safety and well-being of the citizens of Sacramento. 

Attempting to deflect attention to other cities is irrelevant – especially to the citizens and taxpayers of Sacramento who businesses and jobs are being threatened by the rioters over and over again.” 

Their belief is that the property damage done to the city is a direct result of their belief that police were ordered to stand down.  They asked:

“Why after the Mayor publicly stated he would not tolerate violence and destruction, and arrests would be made on the spot, did it appear SacPD officers were standing down on property crimes?” 

Whether or not a stand down order was given to the police department remains to be seen.  What is known is the overall damage done to the city was minimal compared to what it could have been.  Michael Ault, head of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, said:

“Overall, the damage was not as significant as we had feared.” 

The Sacramento Police Department reported that they were out in full force in the area during the riots, but they claimed there were no arrests made.  On Twitter, the police department said:

“At this time no arrests have been made.  Detectives will be following up on reports of vandalism. Law Enforcement presence will remain downtown throughout the night.” 

Sounds a lot like Portland… where the hands of law enforcement have been tied, and so the feds are stepping in:

PORTLAND, OR– On Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 74 people are facing federal charges for crimes committed during protests over anti-Black racism and police use of force in Portland.

In a news release, the DOJ states that for more than 90 consecutive nights, Portland has been home to large demonstrations and protests, many of them starting out peaceful and ending in violence.

After many of these peaceful demonstrations, various public and private buildings were targeted with vandalism and destruction.

In addition, many of the state, local, and federal law enforcement officers that worked tirelessly day and night to protect those buildings and to ensure the safety of peaceful demonstrators were subjected to threats and assaults from violent agitators while protecting and serving. 

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement:

“Violent agitators have hijacked any semblance of First Amendment protected activity, engaging in violent criminal acts and destruction of public safety.”

He added:

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners are expeditiously working with local and state law enforcement to identify, arrest, and prosecute these individuals that are disrupting the rule of law in our communities and physically attacked our law enforcement officers and destroying property.”

He continued:

“Violent agitators not only delay real reform, but make our community less safe by keeping law enforcement from responding to other critical calls for service.”

Special Agent Renn Cannon, who is in charge of the FBI in Oregon said:

“While FBI supports and safeguards Constitutionally-protected activity and civil rights, there is no permit for assault, arson or property damage and these are not victimless crimes.”

He added:

“Among the victims of violent crimes are business owners, residents and individuals exercising their First Amendment rights through protests or other legitimate forms of expression.”

Russell Burger, U.S. Marshall for the District of Oregon reiterated:

“The night violence has to stop. It is drowning out the voices of the many who are calling for change and pulling police resources away from their primary mission of keeping this community safe. We must all come together to find a productive way to move forward.”

According to reports, since May 26th, federal law enforcement authorities have arrested 100 people for serious crimes committed during local demonstrations.

ATF Special Agent in Charge, Johnathan McPherson also said in the release:

“As the nation’s primary source for fire investigative knowledge, ATF remains committed to investigating those responsible for committing arsons in our communities and holding them responsible for their illegal actions.”

He added:

“As a reminder, there is a mandatory minimum sentence for five years for arson. ATF takes these violent actions seriously and will work diligently to bring justice to the victims.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Seattle, Eben Roberts said:

“It is vitally important that all Americans have the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, much of what we’re seeing in Portland is the antithesis of that.”

He added:

“Instead, tragic events are being used as excuses for individuals will ill intent disguising themselves as activists to commit violent crimes against their communities and law enforcement officers. Progress can only be made if community leaders, law enforcement, and the public come together in the name of social change, justice, and peace.”

The DOJ said that out of the 100 arrests made, 74 face federal charges including felonies, misdemeanors, and citation violations. Some of the crimes include, but are not limited to assaults on federal officers, some resulting in serious injuries; arson and attempted arson; damaging federal government property; failing to obey lawful orders; and unlawful use of a drone.

According to the DOJ, several of the charges mentioned carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, felony assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Arson is also punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

The pending cases are being investigated by the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Protective Service. All individuals are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about those being federally charged for crimes during violent protests:

PORTLAND, OR – As protests continue to roar, 22 people were arrested and are facing federal charges for their roles in the riots that took place over the weekend at the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

City officials claim that these protests start out peaceful, for the most part, but then turn violent as the night went on. On Monday, Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said that he is urging peaceful demonstrators to leave the area before other protesters start to get violent and throw fireworks and other harmful objects at officers.

According to Oregon Live, Williams said that he remains alarmed by the amount of violence that is continuing to happen outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

He said in a statement:

“This nightly violence cannot continue. It is absolutely destroying the soul of our city.”

Williams said that the federal officers will stay in Portland for as long as people continue to damage the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse.

He said:

“We must defend this building and the institution of justice that it represents. We are not leaving the building unprotected to let it be destroyed by people intent on doing so.”

Williams said he supports peaceful protests, but he does not condone the actions of a core of rioters who set fires, throw fireworks, bottles, and other harmful objects at officers. He urges his community members to also not condone this behavior. 

He said:

“We are in the midst of historic civil unrest due to generations of racial injustice and the tragic murder of George Floyd. Nightly violence directed at the federal courthouse and other federal facilities does nothing but hijack peaceful protesters’ original message. It is criminal and it has to stop.”

According to Fox News, out of the 22 protesters arrested this past weekend, six of them have been charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest that began Thursday last week and extended into early next morning.

Included in those arrests are:

Carly Anne Ballard, 34 and David Michael Bouchard, 36, both were charged with assaulting federal officers. Josslynn Kreutz, 28, Dakota Eastman, 30, Ezra Meyers, 18, and Mark Rolycanov, 28 were all charged with failing to obey lawful orders.

Eight other people were charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning on Saturday and continuing into early Sunday morning.

Included in those arrests are:

Rebecca Gonzalez-Morta, 37, Stephen O’Donnell, 65, Thomas Johnson, 33, Nathan Oderdonk-Snow, 21, Joshua Webb 22, Pablo Avvacato, 26, and Doug Dean, 34 were all charged with assaulting federal officers. Richard Lindstet, 33 was charged with operating a drone in restricted airspace.

Seven additional people were charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest on Sunday night into Monday morning.

Included in those arrests are:

Michael Stephenson, 23, Caleb Willis, 29, Noelle Mandolfo, 30, Travis Williams, 27, Patrick Stanford (age unknown), Coree Jefree (age unknown), and Tyler Gabriel, 22 were all charged with assaulting federal officers.

In addition, federal law enforcement, including agents from Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, arrested Ronald Bernard Hickey, 44, a Canadian National for harassing and stalking federal employees. Allegedly, Hickey harassed and stalked federal officers assigned to assist the Federal Protective Service with ongoing civil unrest in Portland.

He used his Twitter account to release personal information of these federal employees in an attempt to threaten, intimidate, or incite violence against them.

Since May 26th, protests have occurred nightly in Portland. These protests have been followed by nightly criminal activity including assaults on federal law enforcement officers. 

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about recent arrests of violent protesters in Portland:

On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that 18 people were arrested and are facing federal charges for their roles in several weeknight protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland.

According to police, protesters in downtown Portland set several fires and breached the fence surrounding the Hatfield Federal Courthouse Thursday night, July 22nd and into early Friday morning, July 23rd. 

For several hours, more than 1,000 people gathered outside of the Justice Center and the federal courthouse blocking traffic and participating in a demonstration. Around 11 p.m., members of the group set fires inside the fence, shook the fence, threw things over the fence, and tried to dissemble the fence. Several members of the group actually breached the fence.

Police also said that protesters threw harmful items including incendiaries at the federal officers who came outside to protect the federal building and attempt to disperse the violent crowd. By 1 a.m., more protesters had returned back to the fence and continued to set fires, breached the fence, and threw commercial-grade fireworks towards the federal courthouse.

By 2 a.m., protesters were still in the streets, around the federal courthouse, and engaging in violent, destructive behavior.  Police at this point declared an unlawful assembly and told people to leave the area. 

Many people did not listen to these orders and remained in the area setting fires and damaging courthouse property. From this, 18 protesters were arrested and charged federally.

According to a news release from the DOJ, the charges include assaulting federal police officers, arson, and damaging government property. Since May 26th, Portland has seen nightly protests that have been followed by violent and criminal activity. The Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a nightly target of vandalism and from that has sustained extensive damage.

Various federal departments including the U.S. Marshals Service deputies, officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been working tirelessly every night to protect the Federal Courthouse. While performing their duties of protecting and serving, they have been subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators.

Some of the other violent and criminal activity that has taken place and continues to take place includes destruction of property, looting, arson, vandalism, and assaulting law enforcement officers. 

The DOJ news release shows a breakdown of who was arrested and for what. Five people were charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 21, 2020.

Included in this are:

  • Jennifer Kristiansen, 37 who was charged with assaulting a federal officer,
  • Zachary Duffly, 45 who was charged with creating a disturbance,
  • Wyatt Ash-Milby, 18 who was charged with trespassing on federal property, and
  • Caleb Ehlers, 23 and Paul Furst, 22 were charged with failing to comply with a lawful order.

Seven people were charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July 21, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 22, 2020.

Included in this are:

  • Jerusalem Callahan, 24 who was charged with willfully damaging government property,
  • Joseph Ybarra, 21 who was charged with arson,
  • Marnie Sager, 27 and Ella Miller, 26 who were charged with failing to comply with a lawful order,
  • Taylor Lemons, 31, Giovanni Bondurant, 19, and Gabriel Houston, 22 who were all charged with assaulting federal officers. 

Six people were charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July 22, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 23, 2020.

Included in this are:

  • Joseph Lagalo, 37,
  • Bailey Breibelbis, 22,
  • Nicholas Klobier, 26,
  • David Hazan, 24,
  • Hailey Holden, 30,
  • Cameron Knueston (age unknown at the time) were all charged with failing t comply with a lawful order. 

According to The Hill, all defendants that have been charged are believed to be local residents. All 18 defendants made their first appearances in court and they were ordered released pending jury trials or other follow-up court proceedings.

All cases are being jointly investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Services. Additionally, they are all being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

According to KGW8, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said that anyone who defends this nightly destruction is only enabling it.  He said in a statement:

“Blaming federal agents for protecting federal property is an easy out for people who want to politicize this. You have to ask the community how long they are willing to tolerate this mindless violence.”

 

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