This story has a number of moving parts so we are going to do our best to recap things. Since George Floyd’s death, Portland has been protesting for the past 95 days. 25 of these protests were declared riots. Mayor Ted Wheeler was allowing it all to happen initially but now he is getting more upset about the violence. In recent days, he has been more willing to condemn the rioters.
The mob was not about to tolerate that and Wheeler’s home was targeted as a result. The mayor has experienced all sorts of issues since his declarations, including vandalism and arson. Now, the mayor is being forced to move for his own safety. When a Trump supporter was murdered by a member of Antifa over the weekend, the governor of Oregon had finally had enough.
In order to stop the violence, the governor asked police officers in nearby suburbs to help out. The sheriffs in these locations were not going for it and they turned him down. They cited the current lack of support for police officers. The county’s new District Attorney, Mike Schmidt, also played a key role. He has said that he will not be pursuing any charges against protesters unless they are involved in acts of arson or assault.
If you are resisting arrest or anything of that nature, you are immediately released. No wonder these officers weren’t exactly raring to help. That brings us to the present day. The federal police have since left Portland and the local officers in the area have been asked to help. State Troopers are now being given the chance to assist the federal officers who are trying to gain control of the city.
The county DA has made his position known but thanks to this measure, his words may not matter. The State Troopers have deputized by the feds, which means that they can file federal charges and bypass any edicts that have been issued by the more progressive District Attorney. Protesters who are arrested could be affected by the cross deputization.
Dakota K. Means, a BLM rioter in Portland, is one of dozens federally charged for assaulting, impeding & intimidating a federal employee near the courthouse w/a paintball gun. He threatened to use an "AR" next. He was also filmed next to the accused bomber https://t.co/LUHBAOD4R3 pic.twitter.com/lRClPmfG8n
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 2, 2020
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office might be bypassed entirely, if these officers have their way. KGW reporter Pat Dooris also believes that these changes could be significant to those who are continuing to riot in Portland. If we were protesting in this city, we would be listening to the following words very carefully.
“This is basically the ground changing under the feet of the protesters. because when the state police come in and are cross-deputized by the [U.S. Marshals], they’re able to make arrests under the federal law. And I’m told there is something similar to interfering with a police officer under the federal law. [Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt] will not prosecute someone for that charge, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been much more aggressive at holding people accountable and prosecuting for all kinds of charges. So, I think you’re going to see a lot more of that start to happen as soon as these officers arrive,” said Dooris.
The Oregon State Police are doing their best to let the District Attorney know that they are not going to be stepping on his toes. “OSP is not criticizing any officials and we respect the authority of the [Multnomah County] District Attorney, but to meet the Governor’s charge of bringing violence to an end we will use all lawful methods at our disposal,” read a statement from one of their spokespeople.
The rioters have not been discouraged yet but hopefully, it is only a matter of time at this point. Those who are causing chaos on a nightly basis will need to seriously reconsider their actions. Otherwise, they might not be treated with the same kid gloves that the district attorney has promised. It’s definitely food for thought, for both the protesters and the citizens of this city who are being affected on an everyday basis.