PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland police chief is using the podcasting platform to talk about issues surrounding police response to demonstrations.

Chief Danielle Outlaw spoke on a city podcast, as demonstrations and counter-protests are expected Saturday in downtown Portland.

“There’s no way to physically stop people from traveling here. Of course I would love to say, I’ll say it now, if you know a big fight is being planned on a certain date and time, don’t show up,” Outlaw said. “But that’s not within anyone’s right to be able to say that. People have a right to come and go as they please.”

Outlaw said there are several challenges in responding to events like these, including a lack of available resources.

As the Portland Police Bureau faces staffing shortages, they also must abide by state and local laws.

“The legislation here is far different than in other places, that inhibits our ability to go about these in the manner I’d like,” Outlaw said. “People have heard me talk about the suggestion of an anti-mask ordinance or even something allowing us to record as these events are unfolding and occurring. Other places are allowed to do that, and we aren’t.”

Outlaw said the bureau has received a lot of criticism from people who say officers only protect one side or the other. She said that’s not true and officers will work to prevent any criminal behavior, no matter who is behind it.

Still, officers can’t possibly witness everyone in such large gatherings, and they often have to work backward to investigate people participating in criminal activity, which is sometimes captured on video and shared on social media.

Outlaw would like to see people be more forthcoming with information, while also complying with officers' commands, especially when they say it’s time to leave.

“If they’ve already made it very clear they’re not going to comply or honor our request, the only way we have to move people out of there is by force. The less amount of resources you have to do that, the increased likelihood of us using force. Nobody wants to use force, officers don’t want to use force, we don’t want injuries on either side, why would we not work together to try and avoid that,” Outlaw said.

Despite the challenges, Outlaw said the bureau continues to learn from each protest.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has made it clear that anyone planning to incite violence is not welcome in the city.

He’s directing police to use whatever means necessary to ensure public safety and uphold the law during Saturday's demonstrations, according to Wheeler.

Organizers of one event scheduled for Aug. 17 have called it an "end domestic terrorism" rally, according to a statement, that will include The Proud Boys and "a collection of veterans and patriot groups."

A statement from Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys, said they are "not coming to Portland to cause problems," but to support groups they say have been under attack, including "innocent people, journalists and our brave law enforcement officers."

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(6) comments

racecar57

The mayor is the problem ! You can tell by the way he states things that he has a bias against the right and will protect the left as much as he can without being too obvious. Since when can the police not record a riot or criminal activity? If there is such a restriction it must be to protect the left's criminal elements !!


Jefferson

Don't Portland police officers wear body cams? They should all be on in case of any potential or actual contact with members of the public.


AlanKurtz

The final paragraph is either very poorly written or meant to mislead readers. It quotes Enrique Tarrio as saying the Proud Boys are coming to Portland to support attacks on "innocent people, journalists and our brave law enforcement officers." In fact, the Proud Boys' official statement, posted on August 7, declares they "are not coming to Portland to cause problems. We are simply sick of these deranged and unstable groups wreaking havoc on innocent people, journalists and our brave law enforcement officers." In the interest of fairness, I urge readers to consider the difference between what FOX 12 reports and what the Proud Boys actually said.


AlanKurtz

Thanks to FOX 12 for correcting the final paragraph to better reflect what the Proud Boys actually said.


Lee Smith

Odd the bit on the police recording the event my understanding of federal, state, county and city laws anyone can record anyone out in public because you being outside in the public you have no expectation of privacy. Second the no mask bit that ordnance was passed in Berkley Cali. next to the most liberal city in the nation (portland is first) and was found constitutional and after it was passed the violence from the left dropped to nothing.


sharder8

Basically, what she's saying is, "The city has chosen to not allow us the resources we need and are in use in other cities, to prevent the violence". Her and her officer's hands are tied by the mayor and city council.


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