Police union wants ' zero tolerance' violence policy
Portland's police union wants a 'zero tolerence' policy regarding violence in the city.
The Portland Police Association released a statement Monday afternoon demanding the City Council impose such a policy two days after Aaron "Jay" Danielson was shot and killed Saturday night during clashing politcial protests while wearing conservative emblems.
"Our City was set up for a tragedy like Aaron Danielson's murder by policies that handcuffed Portland Police from using all resources at their disposal to stop the rioting," PPA President Daryl Turner wrote in the Aug. 29 statement. "Those failed policies also included vilifying and demonizing the police, while turning a blind eye to the acts perpetrated by organized anarchist groups, threatening the lives and livelihood of Portland residents and business owners."
Turner went on to criticize the council for cutting $15 million and 85 positions out of the Portland Police Bureau's budget, including the Gun Violence Reduction Team, and implementing a hiring freeze as the bureau faces a "record" number of retirements in August.
KOIN 6 News reached out to Mayor Ted Wheeler and other members of City Council for comment.
Police have not released any information on a suspect, and the investigation is ongoing.
Photos from Getty Image's Nathan Howard show Danielson was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat. The group's leader, Joey Gibson, called him a "good friend" and a supporter of the right-wing group, which has frequently clashed with left-wing protesters in the area.
Monday night will be the 95th consecutive night of demonstrations in the city following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day in May. More than 280 have been arrested by Portland police in August alone.
Here is Turney's complete statement:
"Saturday night a man, a human being, a person — Aaron Danielson — was killed on the streets of Portland. His race, his political affiliation, or where he was from isn't relevant. What is important is that human life was taken on our city streets after three months of violence, assaults, rioting, and destruction of property.
"Our elected officials statewide and locally have not collectively and unconditionally condemned the violence. Instead, they have found every way possible to blame others, whether it be the President, the federal officers, or our local police officers. Blaming others for your own failed policies is not leadership. Leadership requires taking responsibility for your own actions and failures.
"Our City was set up for a tragedy like Aaron Danielson's murder by policies that handcuffed Portland Police from using all the resources at their disposal to stop the rioting. Those failed policies also included vilifying and demonizing the police, while turning a blind eye to the acts perpetrated by organized anarchist groups, threatening the lives and livelihood of Portland residents and business owners.
"From the day he was sworn in, Chief Lovell has not received any real support from the City Council. The Commissioners promptly cut $15 million out of the PPB budget and cut almost 85 sworn officer positions, including the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT), school resource officers, and officers in the Tri-Met Division. City Council also has forced a hiring freeze, even though we are facing record numbers of officers retiring in August and even more predicted to retire in January 2021.
"With a record number of shootings and homicides in July and August and the nightly violence, rioting, and assaults during protests, it is evident that our elected officials have made critical mistakes that have cost lives and resulted in injuries, destruction of property, and chaos in the City of Portland. Residents are fearful of traveling downtown. They hear gunshots nightly in their neighborhoods. And the rioting has reached into the residential neighborhoods of each of the PPB Precincts, as well as the neighborhood of the PPA office.
"It is time for the Portland City Council to support Chief Lovell and the Police Bureau by imposing a zero-tolerance policy regarding protest violence, gun violence, and all other violence in the City. It is time for the City Council to allow the Police Bureau to use its resources to restore community safety before the City falls deeper into the sinkhole that has made Portland the subject of negative national news. It is time for City Council to demand that our local District Attorney prosecute crime. It is time that our elected leaders stop piling mistake on top of mistake at the cost of the safety of Portlanders.
"Fund and staff the Police Bureau. Support Chief Lovell and the Police Bureau before more blood is spilled on the streets of Portland."
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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