The president of the Portland Police Association ripped elected officials in Oregon for ceding the city’s security to violent rioters and looters.
Portland police union boss Daryl Turner held a press conference in front of the union’s offices in Portland on Sunday, less than a full day after rioters had broken into the building and set fires inside, according to The Oregonian. Video taken after the Saturday night ransacking showed offices strewn with trash and supplies and charred from fires.
“This is no longer about George Floyd. This is no longer about racial equity or social justice. This is no longer about reform or the evolution of policing. This is about violence, rioting, destruction, chaos, anarchy, buildings on fire, dumpsters on fire, broken glass, and damaged businesses,” Turner said.
“It is time to stand up. It is time to tell your elected officials that the city is under siege because of their inaction. Our elected officials have condoned the destruction and chaos of our city. They have invited privilege and entitlement to burn and destroy our buildings, businesses, and livelihoods,” he continued.
Rioters and looters have rocked Portland for nearly two months. The Department of Homeland Security has deployed agents to the city to protect government buildings, but the federal government’s presence has elicited objections from some Oregon officials. Last week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler blamed the federal government’s presence for stoking more violence in the city.
“My biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help,” Wheeler said in a tweet after speaking with DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities.”
The riots have caused an estimated $23 million worth of damage to the city. Wolf appeared on Fox News on Friday and said that he had declined the Portland mayor’s request. Federal agents would remain in the city to protect federal property and arrest violent protesters.
“Earlier this week I called not only the mayor but the governor. I offered DHS support to help them locally address the situation that’s going on in Portland and their only response was, ‘Please pack up and go home,’” Wolf said. “That is just not going to happen on my watch.”
“Whatever the local leadership here is telling us, we’re going to do our job, we are going to do it professionally, but we are not going to have these violent anarchists who show up about the same time every night for a series of hours and having that federal destruction to property,” he added.
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