Avoid protesting the police by mistake


Portland, Oregon (AP) — Approximately three weeks after a violent clash of armed far-right and far-left protesters on the streets of various parts of Portland, Oregon, the mayor said Wednesday that the lack of police intervention was ” It’s not right. ” strategy. “

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell have been criticized by residents, activists and state officials for the Police Department’s hands-off approach as Proud Boys and anti-fascists brawl on business parking lots and school grounds. Have come August 22nd.

A state legislator representing northeastern Portland said he was confused and dissatisfied with the decision not to intervene by police, but said residents felt. “Fear and abandonment” We faced each other as we saw fireworks explode on busy streets and people (helmets and gas masks, baseball bats, paintball guns, armed with chemical sprays).

It was the police who were prominently missing from the scene.Police Department Spokesperson Said Police officers were watching the battle from the plane.

The days leading up to the opposition — the latest in the story of the political conflict that has plagued the city for years — Officials said People should not expect to see officers intervene or try to separate the two camps. Lovell said this decision was based on the importance of the department Shortage of manpower, “Legal restrictions” in responding to protests and the history of the presence of officers are increasing tensions.

Following the clash, Wheeler released statement This approach considered it successful in mitigating the impact of the demonstration, stating that “there was no harm to the entire community” and “the property damage was minimal.”

But at a meeting of the Portland City Council on Wednesday, Wheeler, who oversees the police department, said he no longer believed the tactics were right.

“It’s clear that the strategy wasn’t the right strategy, based on public protests, media protests, and the National Front. I think we can all admit it,” he says. I did. “I take full responsibility for it.”

Wheeler’s comments were made prior to voting for a $ 50,000 settlement related to a proceeding resulting from a rally held by Patriot Prayer, a Vancouver-based right-wing group, on August 4, 2018.Oregon Public Broadcasting Report Demonstrators alleged that she was injured during the protest after police threw flashbang ammunition at her without warning. The council unanimously approved the settlement on Wednesday.

For years, the city has struggled to find a way to prevent right-wing groups from flooding the city and clashing violently with left-wing opposition demonstrators. A year ago, a Donald Trump supporter caravan ran through the city to meet opposition protesters. Changes took place between the groups, and right-wing protesters were fatally shot.

“Portland is unique and it seems that alt-right groups are coming to our town at zero, because they know they’ll get a reaction, and they do.” Wheeler said on Wednesday.

Regarding protests that could be violent, the city and police are still “trying to find the right recipe” on how to respond, he said.

“People don’t want the overwhelming police to be there, nor do they seem to be involved,” Wheeler said.


Sara Cline is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.