Council orders police to not enforce federal laws
The City Council unanimously passed a resolution prohibiting Portland police officers, who have been federally deputized, from enforcing federal laws during political protests on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Council members said local police should not act on behalf of the federal government, especially since the Trump Adminisration is so hostile toward Portland.
The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty to reinforce the council's existing position on the controversy. Fifty-six officers had been federally deputized ahead of dueling political protests on Sept. 26. That happened while the police were under the control of the Oregon State Police after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order. No one on the council was notified of the deputizings in advance, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is police commissioner.
A federal grand jury indicted 18-year-old Skyler Roy Rider of Hillsboro for assaulting a federally deputized Portland police officer and with civil disorder, U.S. Attorney of Oregon Billy Williams announced Monday, Oct. 26.
When Wheeler learned the deputizings lasted until the end of the year, he directed Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell that the officers were no longer deputized. But the U.S. Department of Justice insisted that they were until the end of the year, creating a legal dispute that may end up in court.
"When I learned about it I acted quickly to send a clear directive," Wheeler said during he hearing.
The resolution also said Portland police should not take any orders from federal officials unless "the Governor issues an executive order taking control of PPB after consultation with the Police Commissioner, then all PPB members may take orders, commands, directives, or assignments from the Oregon State Police Superintendent, Multnomah County Sheriff, or other officers operating under a unified command authorized by the Governor."
Hardesty thanked the council for passing the resolution, saying she thought the deputized officers should be assigned desk duty during upcoming protests, including those expected to happen after the Nov. 3 general election, regardless of who is elected president.
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