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Oregon Police, Sheriffs Revolt against Governor’s Refusal To Defend Law, Prosecute Violent Offenders

Sept. 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—Local Oregon sheriffs departments in and near the violence-ridden city of Portland, together with state police associations, are openly refusing to respond to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s Aug. 31 call for them to deploy officers and deputies into the city of Portland to “support” the Portland Police Bureau which has been under siege for three months by violent anarchists, with little support from Brown. The Sheriffs of Washington and Clackamas counties and the Gresham Police Department issued statements that they will not deploy to Portland, as they were never consulted by the governor or asked for any input.

The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association also issued a joint statement opposing Brown’s plan, stating that “unfortunately, due to the lack of support for public safety operations ... and the lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts, we cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve,” reported the local KGW Channel 8 website.

Sheriff Craig Roberts of Clackamas County, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett, and the Gresham Police Department have all issued statements saying they will not send their officers into a situation in which there is no support for law enforcement, and violent offenders are being released and not prosecuted for their crimes. Sheriff Brown said his office will support Oregon State Police (OSP) with its work in Clackamas County as OSP has deployed personnel to Portland. He further said that “the only way to make Portland safe again is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence.” That means, he said, that the Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who has refused to prosecute violent offenders, will now have to charge them appropriately, not to release them on their own recognizance, but require bail with conditions. Garrett said that his office will support the Portland police indirectly, but “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 are deployed directly” into Portland.

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