PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – In a one-on-one interview on Monday, Gov. Kate Brown spoke about her response to the protest situation in Portland.
FOX 12’s Wayne Garcia asked Brown several questions, including what her gut reaction was when she heard over the weekend that someone was shot to death at a protest in Portland.
“I was horrified, my heart goes out to the family,” Brown said. “This is really devastating to, frankly, the entire country.”
Garcia also asked Brown if she would like to share a response to some of the criticisms to the statement Brown released after the shooting on Saturday, in which she condemned Patriot Prayer, a far-right group in Portland, and armed militias.
“As far as our reporting is concerned, the victim was actually, we believe, a member of Patriot Prayer, and some of the calls we’ve gotten feel as though you kind of painted that caravan with a broad brush,” Garcia said. “We’ve been careful not to call all protesters as being violent, do you have any problem with the families that may have been involved in the caravan who simply wanted to show their support for law enforcement?
Brown said she believes it is very important for Oregonians to be able to exercise their right to free speech.
“Whether it’s supporting our law enforcement or issuing a clarion call to ending racism, I ask that everyone do so, and do it peacefully,” Brown said.
Brown said she did not have a problem with people who want to share their support for a separate protest for law enforcement.
“I think the challenge that we are facing in this country is that our president, President Trump, is sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” Brown said. “And we are seeing these seeds bear fruit in communities around the entire country … it has to end.”
Garcia also asked Brown about her United Law Enforcement Plan.
“Did you lay the groundwork with these counties?” Garcia said. “Because frankly, we spoke with some leaders in those counties, and the first they heard of this plan was over the weekend when you announced it. Do you think you’ll get buy-in, and what’d you do in preparations for this?”
Brown said her office had been working on the plan for a handful of days.
“I certainly have reached out to local elected officials, but this is a comprehensive unified law enforcement approach, we are asking for local jurisdictions to assist the City of Portland, this is routine mutual aid agreements that have happened over the years, possibly decades, in this region, and we think that it is really important at this point in time for the region to come together to help end the violence on the streets of Portland.”
Garcia also asked about the National Guard. Mayor Wheeler in his address to the City of Portland over the weekend mentioned that he had reached out to Brown to ask for help from the National Guard, but said those requests were denied.
“Mayor Wheeler made those requests months ago, so it’s not a particularly pertinent to the recent events,” Brown said. “We are using the National Guard for critically important duties. For example right now, they have assisted the employment department … they have helped deliver protective equipment to communities around the state, and unfortunately if fire season gets much worse, we’re going to need their assistance in supporting firefighting efforts. So, that’s really important work … what we need in terms of the City of Portland is trained law enforcement.”
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office have said that they will not send deputies into that area of Portland, as they don’t feel they have the political support necessary.
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