Story at a glance
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) rolled out a plan to try to bring peace to the city following the deadly shooting over the weekend, which included nearby law enforcement agencies to support the Portland Police Bureau with personnel and resources.
- Several sheriffs nearby responded saying they would not directly send staff to protests but would help indirectly.
- “PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring. However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly,” one sheriff said.
Sheriffs from counties in the suburbs of Portland, Ore., say they will not send personnel to directly assist in patrolling amid ongoing anti-police protests in Portland following Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) unveiling of a plan to address the violence in the city.
Brown on Sunday rolled out a six-point plan to try to bring peace to the city, which, following the police killing of George Floyd, has seen nearly 100 days of protests that have often devolved into riots. On Saturday, a man who was a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was shot and killed as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with Trump supporters who drove a caravan through the city.
Brown’s plan called on several nearby law enforcement agencies to support the Portland Police Bureau with personnel and resources, including the sheriff’s offices of Washington and Clackamas counties.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts told local ABC affiliate KATU he was surprised to read his office was included in the plan as he was never contacted by the governor’s office, and he has no plans to send his staff to the nightly demonstrations.
“Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy not adding resources,” Roberts said in a statement. “Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder.”
"The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence," he said, going after the city's newly elected district attorney, who has dismissed charges against many protesters taken into custody for nonviolent, low-level crimes.
Strong statement from @ClackCoSheriff Roberts who says they will not send deputies to Portland after @OregonGovBrown released a plan saying they would.— Kellee Azar (@KelleeAzar) August 31, 2020
Instead, he says "the criminal justice system will need to do its part and hold offenders accountable."#LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/DETlaPzTCN
“The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again,” he said.
The sheriff’s office will, however, assist Oregon State Police with service calls while troopers assist in Portland, according to KATU.
Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett on Monday said he plans to provide personnel and resources to assist the Portland Police Bureau in indirect ways but has no plans to send deputies to Portland.
“PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring. However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly,” Garrett said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police released a statement Monday saying it too “cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve,” according to KATU.
The governor’s office said the months of protests had stretched the Portland Police Bureau’s resources thin and claimed additional local and state personnel, as well as federal resources, will give the bureau the investigative capacity to arrest and charge those who engage in violent or destructive acts and endanger public safety.
In response to Sheriff Roberts’s statement, Brown’s office told KATU the plan is meant to allow flexibility in how law enforcement supports each other as they deal with the situation in Portland, and the governor agrees that individuals “should be held accountable for their actions, and they should be charged and booked if they have committed serious criminal offenses.”