Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Opinion: Police chief and mayor’s handling of vehicular rampage sets a terrible precedent

Posted by on August 31st, 2020 at 11:27 am

Do Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell think we’re just going to forget what happened over the weekend?

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people drove cars and trucks into downtown Portland with “Trump 2020” and USA flags flying high. As they powered through the streets, some of them sprayed bear mace and shot paintball guns indiscriminately on people in the street. In the clip above you can see drivers and huge trucks barreling through an intersection against a red light as people try to slow them down and/or scamper out of their way. Other clips showed a bicycle under the wheels of a car and a souped-up sedan driver who raced, full-throttle, through a busy street.

Amid this chaos a man was shot and killed on SW 3rd and Alder (and he might have survived if overly aggressive Portland Police officers didn’t shove away a medic who was administering first-aid).

The trucks were part of an un-permitted “Cruise Rally” whose organizers said it would be a parade to show support for Donald Trump. You have to be extremely naive and/or willfully ignorant to think this wouldn’t have ended like it did.

What’s just as shocking and scary as the criminal behavior of some participants was how the Portland Police Bureau failed to protect us from it. There were only a few arrests made and the PPB didn’t intervene strongly until after the caravan left. The official PPB statement offered only a very sanitized summary: “Pedestrians and vehicle occupants periodically exchanged words. At times fights broke out; there were some minor collisions.”

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This was nothing short of intentional vehicular assault on our public roads. These people used their vehicles as weapons to terrorize Portlanders and they faced no repercussions for doing so. After it was clear criminal acts were taking place, why didn’t PPB lay down a spike strip to stop the drivers? Or slash tires to disable the vehicles — like they’ve done so many times to vehicles that support nightly Black Lives Matter protests?

This was disparate policing on full display. White Trump supporters are treated with kid gloves while anti-facist, Black Lives Matter protestors are subdued by any means necessary.

The difference was clear to Metro Councilor Christine Lewis who said on Twitter, “How many nights have there been declared riots? Why no declared riot tonight? Because they came in cars and trucks?”

At a press conference the next day, Mayor Wheeler and Chief Lovell didn’t even mention specifics. Instead they both-sided the event with exclamations about how “we” have to “stop the violence”. There was no indignation about people spraying mace or attempting to run over innocent people. There was no “Enough is enough!” or accusations of “attempted murder” like Wheeler has directed toward Black Lives Matter protestors.

Asked if he had a plan in place prior to the truck caravan, Chief Lovell could only say, “We tried to take precautions to keep them out of the downtown area.” Asked if he had any strategy going forward, Wheeler dodged the question and deferred to Lovell. “I’m not sure how you can, operationally, prevent this,” Lovell answered, as he complained about having limited police resources. Asked why officers didn’t slash tires, Lovell said, “It’s not always feasible.”

These answers are not reassuring.

We’ve raised the alarm about intentional vehicular violence on this site for many years and Saturday night was the manifestation of our fears.

If Chief Lovell and Mayor Wheeler can’t protect us from these armed, out-of-town, roving marauders in massive, lifted 4x4s they are not fit to do their jobs.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Fred
Guest
Fred

Thanks, JM, for writing about a transportation issue that has bothered many of us. Our city and regional police forces failed to protect us on Saturday. There are probably many reasons (lack of resources, general incompetence, cowardice, etc) but The Big One – preferential treatment given to heavily armed white men – stands out.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

“(and he might have survived if overly aggressive Portland Police officers didn’t shove away a medic who was administering first-aid).”

That’s completely irresponsible conjecture.

“or accusations of “attempted murder” like Wheeler has directed toward Black Lives Matter protestors.”

Or you know, actual murder, which happened.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Why would someone not stand a better chance of survival receiving emergency medical care?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

The street medic, by her own admission, is an untrained college student. The firefighters embedded with the cops (who can be seen working on him in the video from the garage above) did perform aid and it did not save him.

qqq
Guest
qqq

Maybe they would have been able to save him if she hadn’t been prevented from giving the aid she was giving. Or maybe not. But what’s irresponsible about saying she MIGHT have made the difference? Even an untrained person can do things like reduce bleeding. If she was interfering with firefighters getting their aid started I’d agree she wasn’t helping.

Also, did the police know her training when they shoved her away? Or was it a case where, for all they knew, she may have been an ER doctor?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Perhaps she looked under 30.

OGBrian
Guest
OGBrian

What video from the garage above? I’ve only seen accounts (including tweets by the medic who tried to help but was forced to leave) that the police forced her away though they had no medic available at the time.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I guess it depends if the person administering care is a capable provider.

Betsy Reese
Guest
Betsy Reese

Maybe the street medic could not have saved his life. Nevertheless, the extended video by Justin Dunlap that shows this woman, the ‘Street Medic’, a Black woman, approaching to render first aid, being pushed hard away by a friend of the man shot, then having the courage and selflessness to request permission to re-approach and render first aid, and then the heavily-armored police arriving, removing her, kicking away her first aid supplies, and then just forming a perimeter around the dyeing man, with no first aid to him, for an EXTENDED period of time, these jackboots headlined in various media as “rendering first aid”, when none was being given, is just heartbreaking. If I were a loved one of the man bleeding out on the pavement, I would have been comforted to see someone at least laying hands on my beloved son, father, brother, friend, – trying – at least TRYING TO save his life.

Fred
Guest
Fred

The image of a Black woman trying to save the life of a white man – a man who was armed and had minutes ago been fighting on behalf of people who want to keep Black Americans from having rights – could not be more poignant.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

And that should be in the news.

Propaganda Smasher
Guest
Propaganda Smasher

It’s also not at all what happened. Aaron Danielson was armed with bear mace and he was stalked by the person who murdered him, he was caught on camera stalking them. Aaron barely had a chance to draw his mace before the person fired directly into his chest.

His friend wouldn’t let Aaron’s murderer’s friend touch him, and you think that’s suspicious? The murderer can be heard calling out to someone, “Here’s two of them here.” So yeah, I wouldn’t let any antifa thugs touch him either.

I’ll also stress that the murder occurred at night, after the caravan left.

Cat Boxer
Guest
Cat Boxer

Thank you for this write up. I do wonder what was the amount of time between when the police stopped someone who was trying to stop the flow of blood to when it was readministered. How long was this guy left to bleed out? Crazy.

In a contest between Antifa and White Supremacists on who’ve killed more people…White supremacists win hands down. They have killed 39 of the 48 people judged to have died from terrorism in the U.S. between 2018 and 2019. Those figures are from a report coming down from Homeland Security.

Even more striking, though, under “terrorism,” the first draft of the report says “Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States. Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists—who increasingly are networking with likeminded persons abroad—will post the most persistent and lethal threat” throughout 2021. They will use “simple tactics—such as vehicle ramming, small arms, edged weapons, arson, and rudimentary improvised explosive devices” to encourage violence within the United States.” The report warns that they might well target campaign activities and election events.

Source https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/september-8-2020

Rob
Guest
Rob

Sorry, are you suggesting that the portland ***Word deleted by moderator*** didn’t laughingly allow one of their own white supremacist brothers to die because of their racism and hatred of anybody nonwhite?

Richard Herbin
Guest
Richard Herbin

Was driving southbound on McLoughlin (in my four wheeled metal box) when I saw that caravan heading north. Reminded me of images of ISIS pickup truck caravans from a few years ago. Ominous. This could get much worse.

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

Seems like people tend to become that which they hate.

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

ISIS? Really? How many pickup mounted machine guns did you see in Portland? 31 people actually upvoted your nonsense. You are right about one thing – it could get much worse, but my guess is that if it doesn’t stop soon it will be stopped with force. People have had enough of the leftists’ childish tantrum.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Threats of violence? Sounds like a terrorist tactic.

Joe Hand
Guest
Joe Hand

A former DHS official has likened far-right extremism tactics to ISIS tactics, so its really not a stretch.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Turns out 90+ days of lawlessness begets more lawlessness. I don’t like trucks racing through downtown any more than I like seeing people looting businesses and burning stuff. It is time to enforce a curfew in downtown and stop anyone that does not work or live there from entering the area enclosed by the river and HW405. Enough is enough. Stabbings, shootings, murder, tear gas, lasers, trucks, arson, looting, etc. It needs to end. This is not protest it is violence for the sake of conflict.

bendite
Guest
bendite

They weren’t protesting, it was a show of support for Trump.

qqq
Guest
qqq

(In case you’re not being sarcastic) There are photos of the guy who died, and others, gearing up at the mall with their guns and other weapons, and their license plates covered. People along their route to downtown reported having trucks veering towards them and their kids to scare them. They (at least many) were there for confrontation.

Laura
Guest
Laura

Sounds like what happened with the Trump Boat Parade two weeks ago, where they intentionally capsized kayakers and paddleboarders…and then there was the sinking of the family’s boat in downtown.

bendite
Guest
bendite

My comment was a combo of sarcasm and what actual Trump support amounts to in reality.

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

False equivalency and a bit of revisionism. The vast majority of the protest participants and events have been peaceful – especially prior to the Trump administration’s decision to make a show of it for political purposes only. They stoked a fire that was fading out. Additionally, he’s directly pushed his followers to physically act through militant shows of force (a long standing hallmark of his approach to protest.)

It seems fairly apparent that the vast majority of this vehicular crowd was not from here – they have zero stake in the local concerns over policing outcomes. The organizer is from Idaho and there was a virtual cavalcade of what was likely Clark County, WA plates.

They came this far for one reason: to intimidate and start a fight. This is not their community, just as the 17 year old shooter in Kenosha was also not a local. They aren’t defending their community, they are looking to engage in violence in places they deem too “liberal”.

I don’t condone the actions of the small group of violence-seekers that are pretending or deluded in thinking that they are the supporting BLM movement, but I wouldn’t equate them with a large group of outsiders bent on making a point in a community that isn’t there’s.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

“The vast majority of the protest participants and events have been peaceful”

Yes, but the ones who weren’t sure did some damage downtown.

OGBrian
Guest
OGBrian

I wonder if this is a joke I’m not understanding? Most of the violence at BLM protests has been perpetrated by police and other “law enforcement” (in ridicule-quotes since they have been violating laws every night). Nearly all of the vandalism by BLM protesters, to the extent that it is actually by sincere protesters not provacateurs, has been in reaction to police violence. The looting for the most part has been from opportunists having no affiliation with the protests.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

So all of the cars that have been damaged at dealerships…in reaction to the police?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I live literally within a stone’s throw of the NoPo precinct and have been physically present when the cops released munitions and gas many times.

These protests morphed into something else that has way more to do with the protesters themselves than with combatting racism a long time ago. They’re far more likely to build support for a police state and distract people away from working towards racial justice than accomplishing anything positive.

A few things I wonder: 1) Why are these protests always held late at night when no one will see them, let alone be there to provide support? 2) How does all the chanting, graffiti, expressed in anticop slang that normal people don’t follow and clearly intended to provoke the police help combat racism? 3) These end in trouble every time, and repeatedly trying to torch the same building directly adjacent to houses containing kids, vulnerable individuals and animals achieved whatever symbolic effect it was going to months ago.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

My belief is that it is the usual suspects (Marxists, ANTIFA, Anarchists, etc. – basically those who hate the “state”) who hijack the protests (this has been going on for several years).

Denying that these people are doing damage is gaslighting.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Its true, property is much more important than human lives, huh?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Human lives are much more important than property. That doesn’t make breaking other people’s stuff ok.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

is this an admission that property damage and protesting go hand-in-hand?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

or that triggering riots, setting fires right next to homes, and provoking the cops to release munitions and tear gas that gets anyone in the vicinity is a way to show how one values human life?

The last time I went to one of these (last week), I was there for 30 minutes. 100% of what I heard on the bullhorn and repeated by the crowd was expletives and things meant to provoke the police. 0% had anything even related to human life or justice. The provocation worked, the building was set fire to again, dangerous stuff was flying. I’m interested to hear how that helped human life.

Tom
Guest
Tom

What does destroying property have to do with human lives again?

Convoy Legal?
Guest
Convoy Legal?

What’s the law on convoys in Oregon? Are they legal? Could a political protest legally drive down the road filling all lanes at the minimum legal speed limit creating a huge traffic jam at rush hour? Is there a law about riding in the back of a pick up? Is there a law about flying large banners from vehicles?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Can a political protest block roads?

Concordia Cyclist
Guest
Concordia Cyclist

If it isn’t sanctioned, then it is up to the policing force to make that decision based supposedly on safety, health & welfare reasons.

Todd/Boulanger
Guest
Todd/Boulanger

Once an organized group with motor vehicles gets above a set size…some cities have “anti-cruising” ordinances on their books from the 50s-70s. Other cities would likely have to rely on their “parade” ordinance for requiring a traffic control plan, insurance, and then issue a permit for non-government activities in the roadway. [Unless this was a government (PPB) sanctioned activitiy.] There are also the Mayor’s emergency orders…about crowd sizes.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Yep – I just don’t understand why police couldn’t have pulled over these vehicles for not having a parade permit. Pull them over one by one, impound the vehicles, and have the drivers stand by the road as they watch their trucks get towed.

Oh wait: these are white, male, heavily armed drivers. I guess they get a pass.

RudiV
Guest
RudiV

Yeah, because they’ve been enforcing parade permit laws against the BLM car parades that have been going on for months.

Zander 77
Guest
Zander 77

Laws do not apply to groups/individuals supporting the republican agenda. Has been this way for quite awhile now.

Propaganda Smasher
Guest
Propaganda Smasher

This is so backwards I don’t even have any words for it. The same rioters have been destroying Portland and assaulting police for over three months because the prosecutors keep releasing them when they get arrested.

JR
Guest
JR

That’s absolutely nuts. Someone was very likely to be run over and killed, if not maimed by this dispicable behavior. They clearly don’t value any human life if it doesnt’ agree with them. Perhaps this was their idea of a good time. It had nothing to do with protest and more to do with indiscriminately causing harm to others. I suppose their grounds for protest is the loss of white privilege if true equality is reached. It was perfectly Trumpian.

Doug Hecker
Guest

The maiming happened two weeks ago when a man protecting a transwoman was kicked in the head by some wimp who could’ve at least kicked him from the front. Funny what this town is becoming.

bendite
Guest
bendite

A city of 650,000 is not ‘becoming’ anything determined by a few individuals.

Doug Hecker
Guest

That’s a fun statement that could be used in a variety ways.

Propaganda Smasher
Guest
Propaganda Smasher

The people in government who those 650k Portlanders elected have determined it. Ted Wheeler won’t let the police stop rioters, he won’t let Trump aid in stopping the rioting. Prosecutors aren’t charging people arrested for property damage and assaulting the police.

Those are a powerful “few” who get elected by the 650k.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

It was a matter of time, I’m sorry to say. These kinds of protests with motor vehicle convoys were common in most of the rest of the country even before Covid-19. While most of them seem to be on the right of the political spectrum, I’ve seen and heard of several on the left – it’s really a reflection of “car-dependence-culture” rather than right-wing-mullet-white-trash-gun-nut culture, though obviously Portland experienced the latter too.

Good luck on both banning such protests and enforcing such a ban. While you are about it, please ban taxes, death, and wing nuts.

Fred
Guest
Fred

David, you have given up. You gotta stand somewhere, or else you are nowhere. There’s nothing remotely equivalent about the various types of protest. These heavily armed guys in trucks came to Portland to stir up trouble and we who live in this community need to stop it. Full stop.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I’m sitting in NC, actually, the middle of nowhere in a swing state that matters. I lived in Portland for 18 years, worked at PBOT in the Portlandia Building for 6 years and know downtown intimately, having measured every sign and signpost, sidewalk, and curb for a fun job I had at PBOT in 2005-6, including the location where the poor guy was shot. I do miss Portland in lots of ways, but I don’t miss Oregon politics and the open hypocrisy of many voters and activists there (though we get plenty of that here too.)

And you are probably right, I have to a certain extent “given up”. I prefer to actively change my world through good deeds, such as fixing up donated bikes to give to immigrants, refugees, and inner city youth, than to exercise by first amendment rights to publicly protest. If I protest, it usually involves praising public officials just before I ask them to make street improvements for bicyclists. Asking the same from the police or politicians seems kinda pointless, IMO.

qqq
Guest
qqq

I appreciate all the questions in the article being brought up, including Metro Councilor Lewis’s questioning why a riot wasn’t declared.

Another question–the group assembled on private property at Clackamas Town Center. I’d guess the chances of the mall owners giving that group permission to take over a good portion of their parking lot was about zero. There are photos of the participants in the parking lot arming themselves, having their license plates covered, etc. I heard the county sheriffs were there but allowed all that. It sounds like, “No problem, just don’t start attacking people with your trucks and guns and sprays until you’re out of our jurisdiction”.

King Cully
Guest
King Cully

There were a number of BLM counterprotesters at CTC, but the magats outnumbered them. They were literally getting followed out of the parking lot. https://twitter.com/TheRealCoryElia/status/1299865162560581632?s=20

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

Oregonian said the Trump supporters were carrying paintball guns. The organizers of the caravan told them to not display real guns. The reason no riot was declared is because none occurred – it was just good Americans who support the President driving around with signs and flags on a Saturday afternoon. I know, to you leftists that’s a capital offense, but in the real world that is exactly the way Americans have always shown support for their candidate – whether in cars, on foot, lawn signs, hats, t-shirts, etc. Problem today is that unhinged violent leftist fascists will attack people who support a candidate they don’t like. In this cases, one of those fascists killed an unarmed innocent Trump supporter. You OK with that?

https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2020/08/trump-event-draws-hundreds-to-clackamas-mall-ahead-of-planned-portland-rally-live-updates.html

Quote from that link:
“Members of the Three Percenters, a far-right militia group, patrolled the crowd carrying paintball guns. Event organizers asked people on social media not to openly display firearms, but encouraged concealed carry.”

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

Did you watch the video? Is reckless driving and vehicular assault “exactly the way Americans have always shown support for their candidate”? What does spraying mace at anybody you can reach “show support” for? Shooting people with frozen paintballs is not a capital offense, but it and the acts you see in the video are class A misdemeanors. Nobody should be doing those things.

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

The caravan was there to show support for the President – if the violent leftists had simply allowed them to drive thru town, that would have been the end of it, and that is exactly what SHOULD have happened. They have a right to drive unmolested on the street and to display flags and signs for their candidate. Protesters do not get to stand in front of cars to stop them, then vandalize the cars and beat or kill the occupants. By plowing thru the violent leftists noone was injured and no serious confrontation occurred. Had they stopped the most likely scenario is that the mob would have attacked the vehicles and occupants, then the guns would have come out, and violent leftists would have received the punishment they deserved for attacking law-abiding citizens. Would that have been better? Think!

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

They were not law abiding in any way.

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

“Y’know, I better assault those guys first, because they look like the type who would assault me, given the chance. It’s a good thing I have my paintball gun and mace at the ready and my license plate covered. Smash the gas! Red lights be damned, and if anyone gets hurt or killed in the process, then they had it coming!”

That is now how this works. That is now how any of this works.

…the mob would have attacked the vehicles and occupants, then the guns would have come out…

Swap roles with that logic. A vehicle, especially raised, is a lethal weapon when used recklessly (or worse, maliciously) against pedestrians. We’ve seen them used that very way in protests elsewhere. Should the pedestrians legally crossing the crosswalk with the signal have taken a vehicle trying to run them over as a deadly threat and opened fire? Would the drivers/passengers have gotten the punishment they deserved for attacking law-abiding citizens? Would that have been better?

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

No need to “swap roles”. The vehicles were operating in a hostile environment created by violent leftist fascists who have a 95+ day record of hurting and killing people. You cannot stop and allot those violent adult children to engage in a violent confrontation. They chose wisely, and pushed slowly thru the crowd, hurting and endangering no one.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I know this is old now, but:

“They have a right to drive unmolested on the street…”

No, they don’t. Driving is a privilege. Anyone has the right to travel wherever they wish, just not in a car. Driving is a privilege which may be revoked for operating a vehicle in the manner depicted in the video.

“Protesters do not get to stand in front of cars to stop them…”

They have more of a right to do that than a driver has a right to intentionally mow them down.

“Protesters do not get to…vandalize the cars and beat or kill the occupants…”

That’s correct. Did anyone do that? How many law-abiding “convoy” members were dragged from vehicles or had their vehicles vandalized? Or was plowing through this crowd a “pre-emptive strike” against imagined violence? If the rationale was really to prevent injury to vehicle occupants by “violent leftists”, then wouldn’t rolling up the windows and speeding on through have been enough for that? Why the bear spray?

One thing my grade-school kid has learned from watching lego(tm) cartoons is that the best way to eliminate an enemy is to turn them into a friend. As long as there is zero middle ground, this kind of thing will continue as it has throughout history. What is everyone so afraid of?

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

The notion that the Trump convoy folks were just driving along minding their own business when attacked by antifa militants is, of course, utter bunk. As is the notion that counter-convoy folks were innocently walking down the street when they got mowed down by crazed convoyers.

Everyone knew why they were there. The amount of narrative-building — on both sides — is pretty ridiculous.

The convoy would have looked pretty silly if, rather than driving into “the heart of enemy territory”, no one had been there to “greet” them, and instead of getting their big fight, they had wasted $10 worth of gasoline and a beautiful Saturday afternoon cruising around Portland being totally ignored.

Or, more succinctly, suppose they give a war and no one comes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acrWdJiRVZc

Joseph E
Guest
Joseph E

Re: “he might have survived if overly aggressive Portland Police officers didn’t shove away a medic who was administering first-aid”

Jonathan, I recommend removing this misleading statement. It is very unlikely to be true.

The person who died was shot in the chest at close range. It is very unlikely that this would was survivable even with immediate surgical treatment. For a chest wound which injures the lungs, heart or major blood vessels, first aid is not effective. Only immediate surgery might have been helpful, and in many cases even that is impossible if there is a direct injury to the heart, aorta or vena cava.

– Joseph Eisenberg, M.D. (Family Medicine)

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

It’s all “defund/abolish the police” then it’s complaining the police didn’t protect you. Which is it?

Doug Hecker
Guest

People seem to think there is an alternative number we should call instead of the police. Wondering what that number is!?!?

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

“Defund the police” (a rubbish choice of a slogan, imo) isn’t about advocating anarchy. It’s about taking away a lot of ancillary extra stuff that police do today and letting police focus exclusively where force and violence are necessary and appropriate responses to the situation. Everything else (that’s not use-of-force) doesn’t get ignored; appropriate exclusively-non-forceful entities get formed to deal with those things.

Regardless of what the future looks like, today — right now — the only organization we have to respond to situations like this is the police. So until the future arrives, we need the police to do their job in the most viewpoint-neutral, de-escalating, non-violent, minimal-loss-of-life-and-limb way possible. So it’s not at all inconsistent to demand police intervention here, while simultaneously decrying police over-intervention and needless escalation in some other areas. There is a happy medium that is neither “do nothing” nor “maximum force all the time”.

(For a great example of what “defund the police” looks like from history, look at the development of emergency medical services. That used to be a police task too, and it turns out that outcomes are much better all around when that task gets taken away — “defunded” — from police and given to a dedicated non-police emergency medical service.)

bendite
Guest
bendite

Another great functional example of defund the police is the CAHOOTS van in Eugene, through Whitebird Clinic, that’s been around for about 30 years. They respond to mental health related 911 calls and end up taking about 20% of the total calls, and also save Eugene/Springfield millions each year.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

The “defund” movement would be much more persuasive if advocates were driven by achieving better outcomes rather than punishing the police. The notion that improved services will be cheaper, and can be funded by reducing police budgets, is pure fantasy. Police budgets may eventually be reduced, yes, but there will be a period of transition and overlap, and better services are likely to be more expensive (especially if, as today, the social worker often arrives with armed police backup, and we start providing better treatment on the back end).

To use your example, did transitioning from police to ambulance/fire service for medical services save more than it cost? Of course it didn’t. But that’s ok — better results are worth it.

I also share your opinion of the slogan. It’s mostly serves as a get-out-the-vote message for Republicans, and I’m growing increasingly concerned about that.

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

I don’t know about cost; it seems early to be focused there. I pretty much agree with what else you’ve said, HK. You’ve previously said that we need to define what the alternative is before we rush to embrace it, and I agree. There’s so much bottled-up frustration with police that many seem eager to take away from them without having a replacement in hand. (Remind anyone of the Republicans and health care?)

Proposals are out there if one looks hard enough, but there seems to be a lack of focus and discussion about them. And certainly, none of them seem to be gaining the kind of momentum that might lead to sufficient acceptance to be implemented.

Ruthie
Guest
Ruthie

Thank you for writing this. You aren’t alone in these observations.

Nathan Hinkle
Guest
Nathan Hinkle

The trucks were part of an un-permitted “Cruise Rally” whose organizers said it would be a parade to show support for Donald Trump.

Are you sure this was un-permitted? ODOT had all on-ramps in the city center blocked to make space for the parade – it seemed organized. I’ve submitted a public records request to ODOT for more information and am awaiting a determination on the fee waiver.

Also, has anyone looked into using ORS 153.058 to issue citations for any of the observed violations? With PPB refusing to act against dangerous drivers, this is one option we might have to hold them accountable.

Another Engineer
Subscriber
Another Engineer

It may also be worthwhile to look for records of the OR224 closure by ODOT.

Nathan Hinkle
Guest
Nathan Hinkle

I requested all documents and correspondence related to the planning and response to the event. Haven’t actually received anything yet but whatever files they may provide should encompass their response to the full event including the origins in Clackamas County.

Skid
Guest
Skid

Anyone remember how the PPB handled Critical Mass? That was bicycles riding en masse through stop lights and stop signs and being beaten and arrested for doing so. No weapons no violence to innocent bystanders. I guess if you drive a silly lifted truck it’s okay to cause mayhem on the streets. Where’s Barnum and Balzer when you need them?

mark
Guest
mark

I do remember that. They kept it up long enough that it pretty much killed Critical Mass in Portland. Their justification was that traffic disruption was the reason the crackdown was necessary. I sure wish they’d ticket and arrest these reckless and aggressive truck parades so much that they would finally stop their nonsense.

The selective enforcement of laws is the reason the protests exist in the first place, and the continued actions of the authorities do nothing to help their case.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

On the last Critical Mass I was at, the cops saw 3 cars run a red light and did nothing, not even a radio call. Also the top cop at the time claimed on KBOO re Critical Mass “We (PPB) enforce any violation that we see. At the time at least, there were hundreds of drivers running red lights downtown every evening rush hour with zero consequence.

Bicycling Al
Guest
Bicycling Al

Make sure you don’t commit any bicycle code violations! Everyone up on their bicycle code? https://chicagocrusader.com/la-cops-shoot-and-kill-dijon-kizzee-following-alleged-bicycle-code-violation/

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

DA Schmidt set the tone by refusing to charge the vast majority of the rioters. PPB is taking the cue, and looking the other way at most low-level crimes. One, I mean one, felony conviction after nearly six months of serious criminal behavior in Portland. That’s lawlessness.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

I’m glad surrounding law enforcement is telling Portland to go pound sand. Why bother helping if nobody gets prosecuted?

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

Um, ‘cruising’ has been illegal downtown for how many years now?

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

Quote: “On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people drove cars and trucks into downtown Portland with “Trump 2020” and USA flags flying high.”

Isn’t that the part that REALLY pisses you off? Come on, admit it.

Quote: “…organizers said it would be a parade to show support for Donald Trump. You have to be extremely naive and/or willfully ignorant to think this wouldn’t have ended like it did.”

Really? So, if people want to show support for their presidential candidate, it is OK for leftists to assassinate them? That’s what happened in this case. A man was killed ONLY because he was a Trump supporter. That is some sick stuff. Want to defend that?

Quote: “….After it was clear criminal acts were taking place, why didn’t PPB lay down a spike strip to stop the drivers? Or slash tires to disable the vehicles…”

I did not see any criminal acts by the Trump supporters in your video. I saw people legally operating vehicles on public streets and a bunch of adult children trying to stop them so they could, no doubt, vandalize their vehicles, and harm the vehicle occupants. By not stopping, the vehicle drivers likely prevented serious injury or death that would have happened if they had stopped and allowed the mob to surround them.

Trump got 17% of the vote in Multnomah County in 2016. He got 39% of the vote in the state. Do his supporters not deserve to show support for him? I’d love to have a MAGA hat, Trump bumper sticker, or yard sign, but because of the violent, fascist behavior of leftists across this country toward Trump supporters I am afraid to do it. I’d be fine defending myself, but biased leftist judges would put me in jail for doing so and they’d let those who harassed or attacked me go free. That’s where we are in this country. Are you OK with that?

Quote: “If Chief Lovell and Mayor Wheeler can’t protect us from these armed, out-of-town, roving marauders in massive, lifted 4x4s they are not fit to do their jobs.”

They also have not protected anyone else down there during the 95 days of riots. They allow businesses and property to be destroyed by fascist thugs every night. Do you know how much money those businesses pay in taxes for police protection? If they aren’t going to protect businesses, why should they protect a bunch of morons getting in the way of moving vehicles? Are you special? Shouldn’t we get equal protection under the law?

I’ll provide a word of advice for you folks who may be thinking of engaging in arson, looting and other criminal behavior: Read Oregon law on it – pay close attention to section 2: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.225

Dagny

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

Isn’t that the part that REALLY pisses you off? Come on, admit it.

I can’t speak for Jonathan, but I certainly have no ill will toward any group that wants to peaceably drive around flying flags of whatever flavor, so long as they respect the law and do not become a public nuisance. Those around them are also obliged to respect the law. That’s how civil society works. And to be perfectly clear, attacking or murdering someone on account of how they think or what they wear is despicable.

I did not see any criminal acts by the Trump supporters in your video. I saw people legally operating vehicles…

I daresay you’re being willfully blind in watching the video, then. Driving recklessly against a traffic control device, assaulting and attempting to assault vulnerable road users, speeding, and cheering whilst doing so are not “legally operating vehicles”. The fact that they met and planned ahead-of-time, then deliberately covered their plates shows premeditation in anticipation of performing acts which they knew would have legal consequences that they wanted to avoid. Nobody in the vehicles was in fear of their life or grave injury. (People in those circumstances don’t cheer.) I would bet that nobody in the vehicles called police once they reached a safe refuge to report that they committed a hit-and-run in fear of their own safety. I cannot see any way to construe the actions in the video as non-criminal. And given what we know of the organizing, I find it incredible to claim they weren’t out looking for a fight. Again, why cover plates for a peaceable, legal rally in support of a candidate?

I’d love to have a MAGA hat, Trump bumper sticker, or yard sign, but because of the violent, fascist behavior of leftists across this country toward Trump supporters I am afraid to do it.

You shouldn’t have to feel this way. You have my sympathies. Several neighbors around me have conservative yard signs and have suffered no ill effects for it, but I obviously know nothing about your neighborhood.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Portland is the city of the whiniest protesters.

On one hand, we have a bunch who do everything they can to provoke and then complain when they succeed at exactly at what they were attempting.

On the other, we have another bunch who make a big show about how they’re armed and purposely present themselves as intimidating and then complain about how they feel threatened.

Barking at dogs is futile. It’s sometimes fun, but it accomplishes nothing beyond riling them up. Neither of groups above seem to have figured that out even though small kids get this intuitively.

If people invested a fraction of the energy they spend stirring up idiots on something useful, we might actually make things better for everyone.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

The problem with extremists is that they actually have no interest in conversation or problem solving. They live for conflict.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

You nailed it. And Donald Trump is an extremist and your definition fits him perfectly.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Yup, he and his 60 million “deplorables” as HC rightly put it in 2016. Distributed to the right swing states, that’s enough to re-elect him for another term. Better hope that lots more “reasonable people” vote this time around; 40-45% of those eligible stayed away last time.

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

You are apparently correct as shown by 96 days of violent leftist extremists in conflict with the police and buildings in downtown Portland; about the same in Seattle except more murders up there, and similar leftist “conflict” around the nation. It’s great PR. 🙂

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

A little advice for you. Don’t vote twice as it is illegal.

Lawrence Tate
Guest
Lawrence Tate

The riots set a better one. You don’t like violence and lawlessness in kind?

Shirley reese
Guest
Shirley reese

The smartest thing you all could do, is stay home when you know these trumpians and militias are coming out. Give them no fight. Let the cameras show their faces and criminal behavior.

Dagny Taggart
Guest
Dagny Taggart

It’s a crime to drive around with a Trump banner, flag, hat, sign, t-shirt, etc?

You DO give good advice on letting the Trump people drive around unmolested – many of them will be armed and probably will not have much tolerance for thugs that recently murdered their friend.

MaddHatter
Guest
MaddHatter

Would you be willing to let BLM and even antifa do their thing unmolested if they would stop attacking people and property?