The following editorial is written by a retired police officer and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
PORTLAND, OR- With a break in the action in Portland as wildfires in the state have seemed to calm riots at least temporarily, the Department of Justice has been considering bringing charges against Portland city officials for dereliction of their oath to “protect” citizens of Portland, the New York Post reported.
DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec told Fox News this Thursday that both criminal, as well as civil charges against city officials have been explored, and had looked into how city leaders “were handling, or not handling” the destructive rioting that racked the city.
Kupec declined to confirm or deny whether any charges could be levied against any city officials. At Law Enforcement Today, we think the idea deserves some consideration.
The DOJ researched whether it could pursue charges against Portland city officials for allowing riots. Portland police were instructed to not protect the federal courthouse & the city is fining federal government for putting up the protective fence. https://t.co/rdAPDlbG85
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 17, 2020
While it isn’t known exactly which officials the department was looking at, clearly useless mayor Ted Wheeler would have to be included in that list, as well as far-left radical city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who has been a vocal participant in the riots and who has inserted herself into the middle of the chaos.
What could people such as Wheeler and Hardesty be charged with? One area falls under 18 U.S.C. § 2339A, Providing Material Support to Terrorists.
It is clear that Antifa and factions of Black Lives Matter have, in fact been committing terrorism against certain cities, with Portland being a perfect example of that. Neither Wheeler, nor city commissioners have taken any action to put down the violent protests, and in fact have encouraged them.
Hardesty in particular has been on the forefront of city officials encouraging the violent protests to continue.
Probably a better federal statute to charge officials under would be 18 U.S.C. § 1114 which covers “Assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees.”
Wheeler and Hardesty took no action whatsoever to discourage assaults against law enforcement officers, both those from the Portland Police Bureau, as well as federal law enforcement officers protecting the federal courthouse. Once again, they in fact encouraged the assaults, not only by words but by inaction.
As far as Wheeler goes, he was famously hit with tear gas during one of the so-called “peaceful protests” in July after the George Floyd protests in the city.
In particular, President Trump said that Wheeler had “made a fool of himself” when he joined in on the Black Lives Matter protests, which he called a “pathetic” attempt to seek favor with the rioters who time and again tried to attack a federal courthouse.
Wheeler also tied the hands of his police department in trying to respond to the violent riots, banning the use of tear gas for crowd control, which caused the Portland Police Bureau to issue a scathing statement against Wheeler while noting that the organized rioters had attempted to kill police officers.
A couple months back, President Trump sent federal troops and law enforcement assets to Portland as violent rioters made repeated attempts to attack the federal courthouse in the city. Trump only agreed to withdraw the federal assets after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) agreed to put members of the Oregon State Police in Portland.
Breitbart said that President Trump, who has slammed Democrats for refusing to acknowledge the violent rioting, and singled out Wheeler in particular, called him a “wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor,” and noted that the city of Portland “will never recover with a fool for a Mayor…”
Numerous officers in Portland have been injured by rioters, including being hit by bricks, having lasers pointed at their eyes, and being attacked with commercial-grade fireworks.
Over 100 people have been arrested, and now the Department of Justice has also been bringing federal charges against some of the rioters. This was in response to District Attorney Michael Schmidt refusing to prosecute many of those arrested.
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On Wednesday, the Department of Justice refuted a New York Times report which said that Attorney General William Barr had asked federal prosecutors to look into bringing criminal charges against another feckless mayor from the northwest, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
When a group of anarchists took over a significant part of downtown Seattle to establish a so-called “autonomous zone,” where several people ended up getting killed, Durkan said the encampment could allow for a so-called “summer of love.”
President Trump has blamed the national unrest on Democrats, with an overwhelming number of violent riots taking place in cities controlled by Democrats. In fact, when the Democrats held their national convention last month, not one speaker acknowledged the out of control violence across the country.
It wasn’t until polls showed Americans increasingly concerned about exploding violent crime throughout the nation that Democrats actually addressed the issue, if only by words.
Democrats have been leading the charge in criticizing law enforcement while endorsing protests, a large number of which have turned violent. In fact, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris has donated to a bail fund which pays to release protesters from jail and has encouraged her followers to do the same.
The Sun reported that the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which is the fund supported by Harris had bailed out a registered sex offender who has accused of raping an eight-year-old girl in 2015. Timothy Wayne Columbus, 36 was charged in the case, with a warrant for his arrest issued on June 25, however he was bailed out.
NEW: A man facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl is among those who were bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund promoted by Democratic nominee for Vice President @KamalaHarris https://t.co/Nm5dlmhpdP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 17, 2020
The Daily Wire said that Columbus filed to have his bail money returned to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
In June, Harris had tweeted to her followers asking them to donate to the fund to “help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.” For some reason the tweet disappeared, but here is a screenshot of it from The Sun.
Charging Harris federally would of course be a political minefield. However, the Department of Justice should seriously consider charging Portland city officials with federal crimes for their complicity in the Portland riots.
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