Portland Police declare second riot in a week – this one on Independence Day – as governor attacks cops again.

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PORTLAND, OR – Instead of celebrating the birth of the nation, rioters continued their 38th consecutive day of destructive civil unrest in the city, forcing Portland Police to declare a riot twice on Independence Day.

A riot was declared around 4 a.m. local time on Saturday in downtown Portland after overnight demonstrations, but events through the day remained generally peaceful until late Saturday, when police again declared a riot at 11 p.m.

According to The Oregonian, shortly after 9 p.m., a crowd of hundreds began congregating on Main Street around the location of the former elk fountain that had been previously vandalized.

By 9:30 p.m., people set off fireworks and burned American flags while speakers addressed the crowd and spoke about colonialism, racism and police brutality.

The Oregonian reported:

“At 10:35 p.m., police announced orders for protesters to stop directing fireworks at the Justice Center. A short time later, police appeared to set off devices that deployed smoke.

Around 11 p.m., police again warned protesters not ‘to engage with the federal courthouse’ and warned them they would be subject to arrest and use of force if they continued.”

Unrest in Portland and other cities has continued since the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The death set off demands for more police accountability, including the “defund the police” calls for cities to slash police department budgets – or even eliminate police departments.

Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted his concerns about the ongoing violence in Portland heading into the Fourth of July weekend.

In a July 3 tweet, Wheeler said:

“As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, our beautiful city is on edge: An escalating global pandemic. The possibility of a deep and prolonged recession. Demands for police accountability and racial justice. People are justifiably angry, hurting and frustrated.”

The mayor also tweeted several more times on July 3:

“This has been going on for more than a month now.

“Violence and vandalism detract from the importance of the larger movement for justice.

“Groups continue to target the Justice Center, threatening the safety of hundreds of inmates and employees inside.”

The mayor acknowledged that protesters were endangering the lives of people:

“They continue to hurt small businesses owned by people of color, instill fear in communities of color, and start fires in buildings with people inside, in one specific case, even bolting emergency doors so that they could not escape.”

Wheeler was “grateful” that the violence rocking his city had not resulted in any deaths yet, unlike in other places such as Seattle:

“These attacks undermine public safety in our community, and they harm the very people and businesses we need to be lifting up.

“I am grateful that no one has died in Portland, but other cities have not been so fortunate.”

Anticipating more problems for the weekend, the mayor pleaded for an end to the violence from protesters:

“This weekend, join me in calling for an end to violence so we can begin to rebuild and do the work of police reform this movement demands. I am keenly aware of concerns about police actions related to demonstration activity.”

Wheeler also questioned use of force tactics by police:

“Under what circumstances, if any, should tear gas be used? When, specifically, can a gathering be declared unlawful? Who should make those calls? These are all legitimate questions.”

Since the mayor apparently had no answers to his own questions, people replied with their thoughts.

Non-violent murder of crows tweeted at the mayor:

“I feel like if you don’t have the answers to these questions you probably shouldn’t be the one making the decision.

“Since… you’re literally the one person most responsible in how they’re answered, and have consistently answered AGAINST Portlanders on the streets.”

The American Truth said:

“Tear gas should be used against Antifa TERRORISTS.”

Then in a tweet that swiped at both police and protesters, Wheeler said:

“I am calling for a full and thorough review of all use of force tactics and meaningful public transparency.

“And I am asking for the public’s support in calling for an end to the nightly violence.

“Join us in our call for peace.

“Lives are at stake.”

On July 4, Portland Police tweeted a public safety message and zeroed in on “one group with many participants who engage in nightly violence and destruction directed at police and public safety facilities.

Here’s Law Enforcement Today’s most recent previous report on Portland.

Well this is sure to help the Governor’s relationship with law enforcement.

This week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press conference addressing the protests not only in her state, but across the nation.

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She addressed the issue of “system racism” and how she believes government leaders have put policy in place in the past and continue to put policy in place to help improve strategies to rid the nation of systemic racism.

In her own state she asked the Portland Police Bureau to “de-escalate” the violence stemming from unruly protestors. Brown said:

“A group of protestors have repeatedly taken to the streets with the intent to destroy property. This group has repeatedly lit fires, thrown rocks, bottles, fireworks and other objects and have put the safety of others at risk.”

And somehow that’s the fault of the police officers?

Take note: Brown has also said the police response has been too much. Governor Brown said:

“Use of force, regardless of its legal justification, will do nothing to solve the underlying concerns of racial justice and police accountability raised by the protests.”  

The Oregon Live News reported the protestors as being volatile for the past two months now causing the Oregon Police to declare this past Tuesday and Thursday night protests riots.

The Portland Police Bureau was aided by the Oregon State Police (OSP) this past week. The Portland Police Bureau spokesman Charles Boyle said:

“While they are in Portland in such a capacity, OSP officers work at the direction of and under the command control of the Portland Police Bureau.”

The protest on Tuesday night was on the eve of a vote to lengthen the city’s contract with the Portland Police Association. Hundreds of people marched over a mile from Peninsula Park in Northeast Portland to union headquarters. There is no guarantee OSP will respond to help OPB in the future. This was the first time OSP agreed to assist OPB in quite some time.

The police commented that the protestors became an ‘unlawful assembly’. The protestors started to throw rocks, water bottles and full cans at the officers, some officers even needed medical attention. After the police declared the protest a riot, they deployed tear gas at the protestors, adhering to the ‘Temporary Restraining Order’.

In a press conference, Governor Brown said:

“We can do better, we must do better, to heal the divisions in our community. We have a duty to keep the peace, not escalate confrontation. Superintendent Hampton and I are committed to ensuring that OSP upholds and reflects those values.”

Governor Brown also said:

“I strongly urge the City of Portland to be proactive in using strategies focused on de-escalation and dialogue in order to prevent and avoid this senseless cycle of violence.”

Governor Brown has very good intentions and police understand but nowhere in the ‘Temporary Restraining Order’ does it appear that the police violated any orders about using crowd-control munitions.

Police officers gave verbal instructions to the protestors to disperse the area and keep moving… A Portland Police Officer used a loudspeaker and several times said:

“Failure to comply with this lawful [sic] may subject you to arrest and crowd-control munitions. Officers are taking lawful action. Do not interfere with officers taking lawful action.”

A protest march is a ‘MARCH’ where individuals hold signs and peacefully use their ‘freedom of speech’ to let others know what their opinion is.

‘Freedom of speech’ does not mean setting buildings and police cruisers on fire; it does not mean using fireworks as projectiles to harm the police and others; it does not mean throwing objects such as baseball sized rocks that could harm anyone at police and others; and it does not mean blocking public streets and highways.

It is more than just the police reaction to the ‘volatile protestors’ that needs to change; it is the people who are protesting and becoming violent that need to change as well. The people protesting must understand what a protest march is. They must understand what an unlawful assembly is.

They must understand what a riot is. They must come to understand what ‘free speech’ rights entail.

The Portland Police, in a press release, said:

“…. Demonstrators started launching mortars towards the federal courthouse and a fire erupted inside the building where the glass doors had been broken.”

 

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