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Oregon sheriffs are not on board with Gov. Kate Brown’s plan to mobilize their forces and deal with the ongoing unrest in Portland.
The sheriffs of Clackamas and Washington County as well as others roundly rejected the Democrat governor’s newly announced plan “to keep the peace and protect free speech” by using their staff to help the Portland Police Bureau, saying it’s the state’s criminal justice system that needs changing.
“Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy, not adding resources,” Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said in a statement Monday. “Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder.”
Roberts and neighboring law enforcement agencies essentially told Brown to take a hike in stinging rebukes after her request for their assistance to “bring violence and arson to an end in Portland.”
Strong statement from @ClackCoSheriff Roberts who says they will not send deputies to Portland after @OregonGovBrown released a plan saying they would.
Instead, he says “the criminal justice system will need to do its part and hold offenders accountable.”#LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/DETlaPzTCN
— Kellee Azar (@KelleeAzar) August 31, 2020
“Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder,” Roberts added, referring to the fatal shooting of a pro-Trump demonstrator and member of the local Patriot Prayer group by a self-described Antifa and Black Lives Matter supporter in Portland over the weekend.
In Brown’s announcement of her “Unified Law Enforcement Plan,” she declared that she would “not allow Patriot Prayer & armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.”
.@OregonGovBrown now announcing a “Unified Law Enforcement Plan” in response to the deadly shooting in Portland.
“I will not allow Patriot Prayer & armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.”⁰
Plan & statement ⬇️⁰#Oregon #Portland #news #pdxprotest #pdx pic.twitter.com/JU6JFbU5Lw
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) August 31, 2020
After nearly 100 days of protests that have overwhelmed the Portland Police Bureau’s resources, Brown finally unveiled her six-point plan on Sunday, requesting the Gresham Police Department and the Sheriff’s offices in Clackamas and Washington counties to assist. She also asked for support from Oregon State Police troopers.
“With months of nightly protests stretching the Portland Police Bureau’s resources thin, additional local and state personnel, as well as federal resources, will give the Police Bureau the investigative capacity to arrest and charge those individuals who have engaged in violent or destructive acts and endangered public safety,” Brown’s announcement said.
In his statement refusing Brown’s plan, Roberts referred to the new policy by Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt who said he would not be prosecuting low-level arrests.
“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,” Roberts said. “The criminal justice system will need do its part and hold offenders accountable.”
.@WCSOOregon and @ClarkCoSheriff refuse to support @OregonGovBrown’s attempt to secure Portland, and rightfully so. @DAMikeSchmidt refuses to prosecute thugs, and @tedwheeler has done nothing! This could have ended three months ago.
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) September 1, 2020
Shortly after the statement from Roberts, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett followed suit, explaining that his staff would support Portland Police through “indirect ways, like analyzing risks associated with social media, air support, assisting with a specific criminal investigation, etc.”
“At this time, I do not plan to send deputies to work directly in Portland,” Garrett said. “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.”
Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security tweeted that the objections were “sad but understandable.”
Sad but understandable objections to send deputies in Portland when they won’t prosecute or support law enforcement.
Begs the question why @OregonGovBrown advanced a so-called plan relying on nearby LEOs without their support?
Good thing she still has Nat’l Guard available… https://t.co/7gjWRVdoZ3
— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) September 1, 2020
A spokesperson for the Gresham police told The Oregonian, “We are in agreement with the other agencies.”
And in a statement released on Monday, the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association said they would not dedicate “limited resources” from their own communities.
“Unfortunately, due to the lack of support for public safety operations, the associated liability to agencies who would be assisting in Portland and the lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts, we cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve,” the statement read. “We know there will already be an additional burden on local law enforcement agencies as Oregon State Police Troopers are re-assigned to assist in Portland.”
The groups added that they wanted “a strong statement” from elected leaders saying “that criminal acts are not legitimate protest and that those who commit crimes will be held accountable.”
A spokesman for the governor responded to the rejections in a statement, according to KATU, saying the plan “is meant to allow for this kind of flexibility in supporting each other as we all collectively deal with the difficult situation in Portland.”
“It is up to each county to determine the personnel and resources they have available to volunteer for this effort,” Brown spokesman Charles Boyle said.
Many on social media applauded the rebuke of Brown’s plan, calling out the governor and Portland’s Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler who have repeatedly rejected President Trump’s offers to send in federal officers.
Agree 100% with @ClackCoSheriff . The only person who “caused” any of this is YOU. By not stopping it immediately, by not providing consequences to rioters. Not protestors. Rioters. No way police should be risking lives after what you allowed. Now you NEED the National Guard.
— Maris Waltzer Tuite (@maristuite) September 1, 2020
This sums up your whole administration! No help for you. You cut the police off at the knees and then beg for their help? I hope you and your whole city get what you have coming. You lay with the devil now it’s time to dance with him. No one is coming to help you now! HA HA! pic.twitter.com/jWgqpD3DV4
— Steel_Phanatic (@Steel_Phanatic) September 1, 2020
Your plan is woefully insufficient, much like your ability as a governor.
— Jason Maynard (@JasonMa12569979) September 1, 2020
Why would any law enforcement agency loan resources to arresting people cut loose to return to rioting and burning things the next night?
— Dreadnaught (@bhdreadnaught) September 1, 2020
This is a huge fuck you to Kate Brown who just decided that Washington County was going to help out, and I love it.
— buttheadlinguist (@MatthiasG1137) September 1, 2020
But wait….I thought they didn’t need help? They have been offered and turned down the best help available to them, multiple times.
Good on the sheriff’s for saying no.
— Ian walls (@Kryptik43) September 1, 2020
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