SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Leaders across the state of Oregon have been calling to an end to the violence in Portland for more than three months. Governor Kate Brown issued a plan to help calm the unrest in Portland that would involve adding additional law enforcement resources from neighboring jurisdictions to help Portland Police. However, many neighboring law enforcement agencies are pushing back, saying they will not be sending any of their resources to help in Portland.
The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association released a statement that said in part, “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.”
Strong words also came from the Clackamas County Sheriff, Craig Roberts. He said it’s not about adding resources, but changing policy.
Roberts statement said in part, “Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. 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 not to allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions.”
Alexander Reid Ross who is a professor at Portland State University studies white nationalist groups and the Antifa movement response. He also said more officers won’t stop the violence.
“If the police want to diminish violence in the streets of Portland, you know getting between the actors engaged in that violence might be a start,” Ross said. “I would also say if they want to diminish the anger than left wing protesters feel then they might have to answer some of the issues of bias that have been coming up. I mean if you put yourself in one of their shoes where you know one group is patting you on the back saying we love you all the way and the other person is saying there’s all this systemic racism and sharply criticizing you, then you might be a little bit bias toward the person who is your supporter.”
In response to the backlash, Governor Brown’s office released a statement that said, “The Governor’s plan to protect free speech and bring the violence and arson to an end in Portland is meant to allow for local 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.”
We reached out to PPB for comment and are waiting to hear back.
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