Local, regional officials criticize federal protest response
More than 30 local and regional officials in the Portland are criticizing the actions of the federal officers protecting the downtown U.S. Courthouse.
In a letter to President Donald Trump and the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the officials says the federal officers are making then situation in Portland worse, not better.
"We condemn the idea that this will result in more safety for the public. We condemn the actions undertaken by the officers — shooting unarmed protestors in the face, breaking the bones of protesting veterans, tear gassing parents. We call on you both to put an end to this at once," reads the July 24 letter, which was signed by members of the Metro Council, county commissions, city councils and special districts in the tri-county region.
"We are Republicans and Democrats. We represent small cities, large counties and one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. We are writing, from across the political spectrum, to demand justice — and to be clear that justice cannot, must not, include secret police, nor crowd dispersal by federal law enforcement officers that extends beyond the boundaries of federal properties," the letter continues.
Signers include Metro President Lynn Peterson, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Washington County Commissioner Dick Shouten, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle.
But Oregon US Attorney Billy Williams said the nightly attacks on the US Courthouse are dangerous and must stop.
"You know, it's hijacking the moment in history. There are opportunities following the murder of George Floyd and the thousands and thousands of lawful protesters and groups calling for change which everyone can agree change is needed. So this is one of those moments in history when it can occur but it's being blocked by this. This is just mindless violence and it's been politicized and in my view thats what enables this to continue because no one in their right mind thinks this is OK."
William's office said said federal officers have so far arrested 18 people during the nightly protests on charges ranging from assaulting federal officers to willfully damaging government property and arson.
Readers can find the letter here.
Here is the full list of signatories to the letter:
Metro: Lynn Peterson, Metro Council President; Sam Chase, Craig Dirksen, Juan Carlos González, Christine Lewis, Shirley Craddick, Bob Stacey, Metro Councilors; Multnomah County: Deborah Kafoury, County Chair; Susheela Jayapal, Lori Stegmann, Jessica Vega Pederson, County Commissioners; Washington County: Dick Schouten, County Commissioner; City of Portland: Ted Wheeler, Mayor, Chloe Eudaly, Amanda Fritz, Jo Ann Hardesty, City Commissioners; Carmen Rubio, City Commissioner-elect; City of Vancouver: Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Mayor, Sarah J. Fox, Laurie Lebowski, Erik Paulsen, Ty Stober, City Councilmembers; City of Gresham: Karylinn Echols, Mayor, David Widmark, City Councilor; City of Hillsboro: Steve Callaway, Mayor, Olivia Alcaire, Kyle Allen, City Councilors; City of Beaverton: Denny Doyle, Mayor, Lacey Beaty, Marc San Soucie, City Councilors; City of Tigard: Jason Snider, Mayor; City of Lake Oswego: Theresa M. Kohlhoff, Daniel Nguyen, City Councilors; City of Tualatin: Frank Bubenik, Mayor, Bridget Brooks, Paul Morrison, City Councilors; City of West Linn: Russ Axelrod, Mayor, Teri Cummings, Jules Walters, City Councilors; City of Forest Grove: Pete Truax, Mayor Mariana Valenzuela, Malynda Wenzl, City Councilors; City of Wilsonville: Tim Knapp, Mayor, Kristen Akervall, City Council President; City of Milwaukie: Mark Gamba, Mayor, Kathy Hyzy, City Councilor; City of Sherwood: Sean Garland, City Councilor; City of Fairview: Darren Riordan, City Councilor; City of Wood Village: T. Scott Harden, Mayor; City of Durham: Gery Schirado, Mayor; City of Rivergrove: Walter Williams, Mayor; Tigard-Tualatin School District: Ben Bowman, Board Member; West Linn-Wilsonville School District: Ginger Fitch, Board Member; Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg, Board Chair.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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