Today, the city of Portland reported that police officers have resigned "en masse" from the Rapid Response Team (RRT), leaving it unclear how the city will respond to the rioting, vandalism and violence that have become predictable nightly events.
The resignations came after the city of Portland escalated its war with police from merely hamstringing budgets and tactics to prosecuting them. On Tuesday, the Multnomah County District Attorney filed misdemeanor charges against a Portland Police Officer who voluntarily served on the Riot Response Team, and today, most of the elite unit will walk away in protest and go back to their regular assignments.
As I've traveled the state over the past month on my listening tour, I've repeatedly heard from rural Oregonians that they are embarrassed by the city of Portland's leaders and believe they get what they deserve. I'm not willing to give up.
What's sad is that most Portlanders are quietly being held hostage by the lawlessness and depravity that is a direct result of city leaders doubling down on terrible policy. We've seen an 800% increase in homicides. The news media barely covers the riots anymore. And many of the businesses that are trying to open are still covered in plywood, and must clean feces, needles and trash from their sidewalks to clear a path for fewer and fewer customers brave enough to shop there.
Without an RRT, the violence and property destruction downtown will certainly escalate, although it's hard to imagine how it could get worse. The city has turned our police officers into passive observers, like docents at a museum of filth and destruction. It has to end.
If the city of Portland won't protect taxpaying citizens who live in fear behind boarded-up glass, or watch from the hills as smoke plumes and flashing lights deface the skyline, the governor needs to have the fortitude to intervene.
In the absence of a Riot Response Team, the governor should be prepared to use all her resources including federal partners, the State Police, and yes — the National Guard — to restore order to our war-torn city. Our National Guard is a last resort to restore order during natural disasters, emergencies, and in this case the self-inflicted wound of kamikaze governance.
The Declaration of Independence guarantees us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The people of Portland are being denied all three, and it's time for state government to intervene and restore those God given rights.
Stan Pulliam is the two term mayor of Sandy. He is exploring a run for governor in the 2022 election.
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