Police union blasts Portland mayor, new district attorney, over riot responses
The head of the Portland police union blasted Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt in an emotional response to the riot at East Precinct on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner accused Wheeler and Schmidt of adopting policies that put the lives of police officers and citizens at risk to appease violent political protesters.
The email statement included pictures of two elderly residents who had been confronted by protesters while trying to protect the precinct building from damage that included arson.
"I am disgusted that our City has come to this. If it is acceptable for rioters to commit acts of violence against community members and to try and burn down occupied buildings, and if this conduct is allowed to continue, then Portland is lost. Our communities demand accountability. That includes you two being accountable to the public," Turner said in the Aug. 7 statement.
The email included a picture of an elderly woman who had paint thrown on her.
Turner also accused Wheeler and the Portland City Council of directing police to allow the protest violence to escalate almost to the point of no return, and only then allowing officers to intervene.
"That is insane. Police should have the latitude to prevent crime, not watch it happen and only intervene after the fact," Turner said.
And Turner accused Schmidt, who took office Aug. 1, of an unacceptable double standard.
"You ran on a platform of police accountability, which was a thinly veiled threat to indict police officers. What about indicting rioters who loot, burn, destroy and assault? What about your ethical and moral duties to uphold the law and keep all our citizens safe?" Turner said.
Turner concluded his statement by demanding that Wheeler and Schmidt allow the police to do their jobs.
"Allow our Police Officers to do the job they swore an oath to do, to stop crime and the fear of crime. Use the criminal justice system to hold criminals accountable for their crimes with actual consequences. Let the Police Chief, his command staff, and the rank-and-file officers do their jobs in protecting the City from the rioters who are bent on destroying our City, burning our police precincts, and assaulting officers or anyone else who gets in their way. Portland has had enough," Turner said.
A dozen people were arrested on a variety of charges over the weekend, following further protests at East Precinct. Early Monday, Aug. 10, the police announced 16 additional rests with charges of interfering with police officers and disorderly conduct.
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