Well, outside of a few fights between idiots downtown, Portland residents were finally able to get some sleep, thanks to the Oregon State Police’s notification that their officers reassigned to Portland to quell the near-constant unrest were federally deputized and their future arrestees would face federal charges.
The announcement followed the Oregon Governor’s announcement that she was reassigning State Police officers to Portland to help quell the ongoing unrest that had been plaguing Portland streets for more than 95 days. As part of that announcement, dubbed the “unified law enforcement plan,” Gov. Kate Brown also asked neighboring counties Washington and Clackamas sheriff’s offices to “support the Portland Police Bureau with personnel and resources to keep the peace and protect free speech.”
Well, apparently she forgot to ask those departments if they were willing to provide personnel. Both departments immediately issued press-releases declining to send any personnel to Portland, citing the Multnomah County District Attorney’s decision to not pursue charges against rioters arrested.
“The lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly,” Washington Country Sheriff Pat Garrett said.
Clackamas County Sheriff said that he was not contacted by anyone in the Governor’s office before the announcement was made, saying that if he was contacted, he would have told her it is not about sending more police officers to the city.
“The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence. That will require the DA to charge offenders appropriately and a decision by the Multnomah County Presiding Judge to not allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions,” said Sheriff Roberts in a statement.
“The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again,” he said.
Because of the DA’s unwillingness to hold rioters accountable for their crimes, OSP officers reassigned to Portland were federally deputized earlier this summer by the US Marshals, according to the Governor’s office. Freelance journalist Deborah Bloom first broke the news yesterday that the troopers were federally deputized in order “to meet the Governor’s charge of bringing violence to an end.” This means that troopers can crack down on protesters knowing they will actually face justice via the US attorney’s office, versus simply being released without charges by the county’s DA.
While we are not sure how long these peaceful nights will last, Portland Police officers along with the city’s residents are probably catching up on some much needed R&R.