Brown ends joint incident command following Proud Boys rally
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has rescinded her order that established a joint incident command structure for law enforcement in Portland Saturday, Sept. 26. The move followed the conclusion of Saturday's planned demonstrations by the far-right designated hate group Proud Boys.
Thirty people were arrested by officers working under the unified command related to various mass gatherings Saturday. These arrests were made by law enforcement officers from Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, or Portland Police Bureau. Most arrests took place in downtown Portand after the competing demonstrations were over.
On Friday, Brown made Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton joint incident commanders of Portland for a 48-hour period. The agencies had been brought in to assist the Portland Police Bureau in preventing violence and containing clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators surrounding the Proud Boys' presence.
"I would like to thank the law enforcement officers of the Oregon State Police, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Portland Police Bureau and other local law enforcement agencies for their professionalism as they executed this plan to prevent confrontations and violence," Brown said Sunday, Sept. 27. "I would also like to thank Oregonians for not rising to the bait when the Proud Boys came from out of town to express their hateful views yesterday. When we all work together as a community to keep the peace, we can keep Oregonians safe while still allowing free expression under the First Amendment."
Dozens of people began to show up two hours before the planned Proud Boys rally that officially began at noon Saturday at Delta Park. Some packed into the beds of pickup trucks, and many were wearing some sort of militarized body armor — including helmets and protective vests.
Two other simultaneous rallies at Peninsula Park and Vanport brought large crowds to hear speakers and act in solidarity for their stance against what they see as growing fascism in the U.S.
There were no large interactions between the groups, which were relatively close to each other but separated by a large police presence.
"Our Unified Command worked well to prevent violence before it started. Law enforcement officers performed a number of traffic stops and took weapons off the streets," OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton said. "We appreciate the hard work of all the men and women in uniform assigned to this effort."
"On Saturday, Oregonians denounced hate, racism and violence," MCSO Sheriff Mike Reese said. "With the assistance of our partner agencies, the Unified Command was able to help keep the peace at multiple large events in North and Northeast Portland."
Mayor Ted Wheeler also praised employees in other Portland bureaus that assisted the police.
"The safety and well-being of our community is always a top priority. Thank you to our police officers and law enforcement partners for ensuring the demonstrations have remained largely peaceful throughout the day. It's testimony to the collaborative planning and preparation Portland Police did with our local, state and federal partners.
"I also appreciate the efforts of employees who stepped up to support our police and ensure we were keeping the public informed and safe: Fire, Parks, Emergency Management, Transportation, Development Services, Management and Finance, Housing, Council offices, City Attorney and Homeless Services, to name a few. City employees care deeply for this community. Their commitment to protecting Portlanders, particularly the most vulnerable, shows.
"Once again, thanks to our police officers for their service, to our partners for responding to our request for mutual aid and to our community for respecting others' rights under these extraordinary circumstances."
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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