PORTLAND, OR. – In Portland, the likes of riots and protests have been in full swing for several weeks – and now miscreants participating in the antics are upset that they’re getting arrested. Some have even referred to their arrests as being “kidnapped.”
— Fox12Oregon (@fox12oregon) July 17, 2020
Federal law enforcement officers have been taking a firm stance against the proverbial mob that has been present in Portland over the past few weeks, with Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf noting that federal facilities will be protected from the likes of bad actors.
A video that has been making the rounds online has proponents of groups like Antifa proclaiming that police making arrests is somehow “authoritarian” with even Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley clamoring how bad it is that people manage to get arrested during protests:
“Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end.”
Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end. pic.twitter.com/PE4YfZ9Vqd
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 16, 2020
The irony is that the “unmarked authorities” that Senator Merkley is complaining about in the video clearly have the words “police” on their chest plate. That usually means they’re marked.
The local Fox station managed to track down one of the protesters present during the events that have unfolded over the past few weeks in Portland, where the news crew asked for his take on the recent arrests.
According to the protester interviewed, apparently they’re demanding that people stop getting arrested:
“We have a demand…our demand is that, um, the police…uhhh…uhhh…stop, um, these unlawful arrests of protesters – they’re doing snatch-and-grab-tactics now. Where they’re putting people in cars without even telling them why they’re arrested. Um, they’ll just attack a line of protesters – grab a person and put them into an unmarked vehicle without even…without even giving charges. That’s really scary.”
So long as protests turn into riots, these “activists” can count on getting arrested or detained. And have we been keeping up on Portland here at Law Enforcement Today.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Here’s the most recent report on some of these “peaceful” demonstrations.
Demonstrations have entered a seventh consecutive week in Portland. This includes a clash that lasted into Tuesday morning in which demonstrators and cops faced off for hours at a police union building in North Portland.
Tuesday evening, the Portland Police Department took to Twitter to declare the protests a riot, tweeting:
“A riot has been declared. Everyone needs to disperse immediately and leave to the East.”
In addition to declaring a riot, the Portland Police sent out another tweet saying their officers have been hit with paint, ball bearings, and glass bottles, which they added are criminal acts.
Some of the items thrown at officers include paint, ball bearings, and glass bottles, which are all criminal acts. pic.twitter.com/9ghKqB8urT
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 14, 2020
Police repeatedly ordered the crowd to disperse and threatened to use tear gas, but ultimately did not.
Monday’s events, the latest after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, followed a similar incident over the weekend, when a federal officer protecting a courthouse was hit in the head with a hammer.
Damages reached an estimated $50,000 when rioters attempted to break through the court’s doors, local NBC affiliate KGW reported.
Police were able to arrest a 23-year-old from Texas on assault charges.
The officer injured was one of many federal law enforcement agents called in to help settle the mayhem, deployed earlier this month among a dozen agencies and departments sent by the Department of Homeland Security, Fox News said.
Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals, the Federal Protective Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have moved through the city to protect federal property such as Mark. O Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Pioneer Courthouse, and the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building as well as Terry Schrunk Plaza.
Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler has criticized the decision to send in federal officers, accusing President Donald Trump of escalating the violence.
Wheeler tweeted out that the president did not quell the violence, instead saying:
“His heavy-handed tactics led to a serious injury and enflamed (sic) an already tense situation.”
The President did not quell it, he escalated it. His heavy-handed tactics led to a serious injury and enflamed an already tense situation. https://t.co/V1lZeOLWD1
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
Just last week, Portland’s Deputy Chief Chris Davis defended what some have called aggressive tactics by the department.
Refusing to label the demonstrators as “protesters,” Davis referred to them as “agitators.”
“There’s a very big difference between protests and the kind of mayhem that we see every night. You’re going to hear me make a lot of effort not to refer to what we’re talking about here as protests, because protests and this are two different things.”
The press conference, which was organized by Mayor Wheeler’s office, highlighted the divide of many city officials.
Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly have continually questioned police tactics in handling the events of the recent weeks, the police have amped up their criticism of the riots.
Tim Becker, the mayor’s spokesman, mentioned in a statement that the mayor is “supportive of the intent” of Davis’ presentation, which described “what’s happening every night from an operational standpoint.”
Davis offered support for the Black Lives Matter movement and peaceful protesters during his press conference.
He also displayed the infographic for protest roles created by the Hong Kong “freedom fighters” who are protesting to remain autonomous from China’s authority.
We have seen all of this at demonstrations in Portland. https://t.co/jYlZrHKhH8
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 6, 2020
Davis’ presentation followed a press conference in which Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner said the union had issued a no-confidence vote against the City Council to “stop the rioting and looting and protect the safety and livelihoods of all Portlanders.”
“If City Council won’t stand up for Portland, we will.”
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!