DA Won't Charge Rioters

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt (KPTV image)

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - The Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that his office will not prosecute certain charges stemming from the ongoing protests in Portland.

The new policy announced Tuesday will "promote a safe community and reduce the negative and lasting impacts a person can experience once involved in the criminal justice system following an arrest resulting from a peaceful protest or mass demonstration," according to the district attorney's office.

“In order to advance public safety, we must not only prevent crime, but we must also promote economic and housing stability, educational opportunities, strong family and community relationships, and the mental and physical health of all those in our community. If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society. The prosecution of people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly in a non-violent manner takes away from the limited resources that we have to prosecute serious crimes and to assist crime victims,” said Schmidt.

Under the new policy, the district attorney's office will "presumptively decline to prosecute cases where the most serious offense is a city ordinance violation or where the crime(s) do not involve deliberate property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person."

Those crimes include:

  • Interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer
  • Second-degree disorderly conduct
  • First and second-degree criminal trespass
  • Third-degree escape
  • Harassment
  • Riot - Unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list.

The district attorney's office says that the charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a public safety officer will be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny by the deputy district attorney reviewing the arrest. Consideration for those charges will be given to the "chaos of a protesting environment."

Also, when a protester is charged with a misdemeanor or felony for crimes that cause only financial harm during a protest, they will be offered conditional dismissal after restitution is paid to the victim or other amends to the community are made, according to the district attorney's office.

Those crimes include:

  • Second and third-degree criminal mischief - when the value is under $1,000
  • First, second and third-degree theft - when the value is under $1,000 or when the theft is committed during a riot
  • Second-degree burglary if combined with any criminal mischief or theft allegation

The district attorney's office said it is neither condoning nor endorsing the conduct that led to the arrest or citation of a person. A prosecution decline decision does not change Oregon law.

The district attorney's office said arrest charges for crimes that allege "intentional physical violence against community members and/or law enforcement" will be handled by general office policies. This includes charges for assault and arson.

Police Police Chief Chuck Lovell released a statement Tuesday afternoon about the announcement, saying, "We have said repeatedly throughout these long months that we would prefer not to make arrests at all. In fact, people regularly meet to demonstrate all over Portland with no police interaction. Over the last several months, we've seen thousands gather in awesome displays of peaceful assembly."

Lovell stated, confirming what Schmidt said, that his policy "does not change the law, nor does it say his office will tolerate damage to property or deliberate violence against police or anyone else."

"As always, whether the District Attorney decides to charge cases we send to his office is up to him. The Portland Police Bureau will continue to do the job the community expects of us, and will continue to reach out to all people to connect and build trusting relationships. One of those relationships is with the District Attorney, and we will continue to work with that office in the interest of public safety," according to Lovell. 

To view a full copy of the district attorney's office new policy, click here.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(46) comments

ItzaSeakrit

Let me read that back to you, Mikey:

As the top law enforcement official in Multnomah county, I just want to announce that I will not enforce the law. I will not support the dangerous (largely to ignorance like this), necessary, and thankless, work of our law enforcement officers. I will not support law and order. I will not fight for public safety. I will not protect the rights and interests of the taxpayers who fund my office, and whom I am proscribed to serve. Why did you take a job, the duties of which, you refuse to perform? You're an embarrassment to Portland, your office, law enforcement, and the legal profession. Resign.

DamienWright

Well this sealed the deal - We're moving out of Portland and taking our incomes with us. This place is a joke. Too bad, I grew up here, always have lived here, and the city i once loved is long dead.

chillypepper

I know Schmidt just started, and he has to serve 6 months before we can try to recall him, but are there any plans in place to start that movement? Does he have to serve 6 months into his official term or does his appointment by Kate Brown count as the 6 months as well?

FedUp

Just don't be foolish enough to choose another city with boneheaded leaders like Oregon has. Pick a place where they care. That leaves Washington out too unfortunately! Another state run by liberal thinking. It's TOO liberal. You can see we need parameters because some people have NO COMMON SENSE!

lanquan

District Attorney Schmidt,I'm a lifelong Portland resident and a son of a retired Portland Policeman. Growing up, my three brothers and I learned right from wrong and that there are consequences for bad behavior. Whether it was being grounded at home or in my case, having the distinction of being thrown in jail one night when I was downtown cruising Broadway. Dad didn't care why I was in jail but reiterated that "you just shouldn't be down there".The madness of nightly rioting and destruction combined with attacks on our Police Force and the Federal Officers is disgusting and made worse by our elected "servants", namely Mayor Wheeler, Commissioner Hardesty and Governor Brown. These three individuals have done nothing to speak of to quell the RIOTING. I consider them useless  failures and wonder how far left they all lean? Perhaps Antifa has awarded them all with plaques thanking them for their silence. That silence is seen as approval of the actions of the anarchistic criminals roaming the streets late at night.Now I see today's news outlining your plans to not prosecute certain protest-related charges? A snippet from your statement;"If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society." 

The issue has never been PEACEFUL protests or a demand to be heard. But the minute people engage in any violence, destruction of property, graffiti, fires (arson), laser light in Officer's eyes, throwing bottles, rocks and bricks. This behavior demands the FULL force of the law. If it marks them in the future, they knew when they engaged in this type of behavior, that it was wrong. You "do the crime, you do the time". A mob is dangerous and must not be tolerated. While you spell out what exceptions and lessening of charges you envision, the criminal element will hear "decline to prosecute" and will engage in more violence. You will becomes an honorary member to the group of three failures as you empower these RIOTING dirt bags to keep on keeping on. Thanks for nothing. Why don't our elected "servants" have the courage to speak up loudly and put down the RIOTING? Your statement would have been better received had you outlined how you WILL prosecute to the full extent of the law any of the RIOTERS who are arrested? Was it the teacher in you that wants to be a good guy? Save all the "children", make it your goal in life to free RIOTERS from responsibility? Law abiding Portland residents long for action against the "rats of the night" who essentially terrorize neighborhoods without fear of punishment by City Hall, the Governor and now YOU!The mayor has no backbone, the commissioner hates the police, the governor is in a fog and YOU send a (perceived) message that nightly crime is okay. These dirt bags even come from out of state to cause damage to personal and state/federal property, attack our law enforcement personnel and united voice against them.Congratulations on your new position. I hope you grow up and reassure Portlanders that crime doesn't pay, that you're here for us and not THEM

Write him multcomike@gmail.com

FedUp

Great! Another person in charge who drops the ball. Does anyone in Oregon give a rip what happens in their city to keep troublemakers at bay? If this kind of thing was in front of their home what would they think of it? What if a church group wanted to peacefully protest the abhorrent and destructive behavior of the protesters? Would that be allowed? Would you let their voices be heard??? I doubt it!

Milburnky

Watch for the population redistribution to happen. Start investing in the mid-west and south.

PDX2MtHood

Is anyone actually surprised by this? This city and its leaders love criminals and vagrant losers and this is just more evidence of that fact.

Brighteyes

Absolutely the most dangerously irresponsible Liberal Lack Of Justice DA in Portland's history, Portland Police should ALL Walk Off The Job!!

nativepdx

By not punishing criminals for the crimes against citizens, property owners, business owners and government property, this problem, will only grow.

I wonder how he would feel, if it was his property or family that was being threatened or damaged?

chillypepper

Oh, it will happen. The mob always come with their pitchforks for those that support them. Have to wonder if these guys ( and this one was a teacher at one time!) ever read history.

Delta85

With all all these people on expressing anger over this I am trying to figure how these people get elected in the first place! First thought is these are the people who don't go out and riot everyday and second mail in voting does wonders in Oregon!

WebFootSTi

The choice was between a liberal democrat and a liberal democrat.

chillypepper

Dang Web, that made me chuckle amongst my despair!

Delta85

Refusing to do your job should be grounds for dismissal plain and simple!

Deputytrex

I'm so glad I moved out of that city 16yrs ago. The politicians are just so frightened of the anarchists, that they refuse to uphold law and order. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

ItsPolitical

[thumbup]

Toothache

I moved out in 1970 and haven't regretted it one bit.

rustynutt

At lease the Chicago mayor said "we are coming after you".

If I were city police, I'd call in sick 30 days, leave the Federal Court House are see how the Feds respond.

LEO has their hands tie, knives to throat.

No Place Like Home

Portland and Seattle are not safe places for law-abiding citizens or tourists. The police chief in Seattle can't get out fast enough and everyone else including the police should just leave and leave the cities to the street rats and let them eat each other.

commentor

'Multnomah Co. DA announces his office will decline to prosecute certain protest-related charges' Would anybody expect anything different from this lib?

Delta85

Nope!

Husky Loyalist

What a liberal tool and an insult to the rule of law. Break the law in Portlandia and go free. Shame on him. He is just encouraging more law breaking and is going against his oath of office.

mairez

Spoken like a politician.

Way too wordy and boring.

How about swift justice for law breakers? That's why they made the laws.

ItzaSeakrit

Dereliction of duty. Didn't he take an oath to uphold the law? Should be removed, disbarred, and prosecuted as an accomplice. Hello, DHS? Portland needs you.

Brighteyes

I agree, Portland Desperately NEEDS The Feds To Take Over!

Just curious

[thumbdown] This is a slap on the police. Why did they even bother to arrest these criminals in the first place? iIhe D.A. won't fulfil his obligation. Boy if this had happened in Washington County these criminals wouldn't see daylight for quite a few months to several years.

Frederick Fukov

Unbelievable. At a time when there are already NO CONSEQUENCES for the RIOTERS, Multnomah County doubles down on complete cowardice.

Being in positions of alleged leadership, especially in law enforcement, is about sending signals. Well, what signals did DA Mike Schidt just send to the criminal element in Portland?

He just said; "Join a mob in the streets under the false pretense of 'peaceful protest' and there are ZERO CONSEQUENCES. Sure, you got arrested, mug'd, printed and processed, but that's it. Now you have your little badge of honor to share with the other losers out in the street, who are anti-american, anti-Portland, and anti-law abiding.These are the same low-lifes that attacked old women, just because the women had the stones to tell the punks to stop attacking the police.

And did you get a load of the young black guy in the glasses, who I guess works for the county, who set up this presser by telling us all how we should think, and that everything we do from now on should be geared to elevate black lives, but giving them a bunch of free stuff?

Oh, and of course, we need to "fund the schools," and "give teachers pay raises," and give housing to the black community because of homes that had to be moved or raised for when I-5 was built? Huh? That was like..60 years ago, if not more.

What is with these liberals, and the little world of make-believe they all live in. This city and those who rule here, have lost their ------- minds. It's just mind numbing the way their minds think. They could not be more clueless and more wrong if they were doing it on purpose. The lack of common sense, and the far left liberal ideology is just a danger to all of us.

Ask most black people, the ones who work and contribute to society, and they'll tell you that democrats never did a thing for them. They know that Trump is the one who signed criminal justice reform, and that it was Trump's economy that did more for them prior to the covid disaster, then the democrats EVER did for them.

Watch what happens with the black vote in November. Biden is a nightmare candidate for attracting black voters, no matter how much the left keeps trying to fan the flames of racism. That presser was a disaster, but so typical for how far this city has fallen since the migration of liberal voters into Multnomah County.

Good luck for those of you continuing to live in Portland. This place is going to heII.

Brighteyes

It's time for ALL Good Americans to stand together, to stomp out liberalism disease everywhere! If Good Americans Don't Stand Together, Organize, and Stomp Out This Ideology, America WILL Cease To Exist!

Lee Gregory

Tell him just how stupid you think this is...

multcomike@gmail.com

Frederick Fukov

I just did. Btw..how did you get that email? That's not exactly the one provided to him by the county. Interesting.

Alexander Marinesko

Give them carte blanche to pursue their destruction of portland...........

steveO

I'm sure Wheeler, Hardesty and Brown had this pushed on the D.A. Why even arrest anyone then? Go for it and destroy Portland you bunch of low life's. I suggest you should start targeting the Capitol Building..

Pameladancer

Peaceful Protestors were not arrested. In fact, many of those Communist agitators who used lasers to blind Federal Officers. are still on the loose. I wouldn't label those hateful socialists who spray Hitler on homes where children are living as Peaceful Protestors. Maybe this pandemic is not that serious, with too many Democrats willing to go out every night in mobs to attack those who have the right to disagree. TRUMP 2020

webjak

Multnomah County and the City of Portland have voted to put the crazies in charge. Hopefully violence, arson, rioting, terrorism and destruction will continue to destroy property, kill citizens and depopulate the area. All for the good of the rest of Oregon.

Ducky

So you can steal during a riot with no long lasting consequences as long as you make restitution. What a joke.

Mockingbird Media 2

hahahahahahahahaha Portland is toast.

chillypepper

Business owners, this: Also, when a protester is charged with a misdemeanor or felony for crimes that cause only financial harm during a protest, they will be offered conditional dismissal after restitution is paid to the victim or other amends to the community are made

Business owners- It's in your court now. The damages that have been incurred on you, the small business owner, needs to brought to the attention of the press, and then there needs to be a lot of pressure put forth by you , the business owners, to ensure that there is some sort of financial re- reimbursement for the impact these riots are doing to your business. Why not attempt to sue the city for mismanagement? Stand together or fall alone. I hate seeing what is happening to the small businesses in Portland. I know how hard you work.

NWAmerican

Portland is lost

The leadership is criminal and the legal system only benefits the criminals

The ONLY way to save Portland and all of Oregon is to VOTE these Socialist out

The DA is a joke

The Mayor is an empty puppet

The City Council are bent on Marxist upheaval

and the Governor is a Totalitarian power hungry, leaning on communist wack-job

I will NEVER vote Democrat anything ever again....

Today's Democrats are NOT the JFK Democrats - Stalin would be proud

Brighteyes

Amen

ItsPolitical

[thumbup]

oceangirl1971

So now you can just break the law and have no consequences? This should turn out really well for Portland and of course we will make national news AGAIN tonight for this terrific decision.

ItsPolitical

I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone I live in, or that I'm from, Portland, and just say Oregon.

WebFootSTi

What a piece of work. Do Your Job district attorney, or you are condoning crime.

Brighteyes

The DA and Portland's elected officials not only condone these outrageous anarchists, they PROVE time and again they fully support their violence against the police officers!

kyjaha

Agreed. What a steaming example of a pile this new DA is showing himself to be already.

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