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‘Lawless city?’ Worry after Portland police don’t stop chaos

Bank damage, Dumpster set ablaze in downtown Portland Tuesday night
Portland Police Bureau
Bank damage, Dumpster set ablaze in downtown Portland Tuesday night

New state law limits police crowd control actions, tools

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least $500,000 in damage – but police officers didn’t stop them.

Portland Police Bureau officials say that’s because of legislation passed by Oregon lawmakers this year, which restricts the tools they can use to confront people vandalizing buildings and causing mayhem.

“The reason that we did not intervene goes back to what we talked about last month with House Bill 2928 and the restrictions placed on us in a crowd control environment,” KOIN reports that Portland Police Lt. Jake Jensen said in a neighborhood meeting Thursday.

Residents frustrated by the latest round of destructive demonstrations Tuesday questioned whether that meant anything goes now in Portland.

“Does that mean we are now like a lawless city?” Linda Witt asked during the meeting with police. Jensen replied saying people can still face consequences later.

The legislation in question is House Bill 2928, which prohibits the use of things like pepper spray and rubber bullets for crowd control. However there is an exception – when the circumstances constitute a riot and if the officer using the chemical incapacitant reasonably believes its use is necessary to stop and prevent more destructive behavior.

“The law clearly allows Portland Police to use effective tools necessary to control violent crowds,” House Minority Leader Christine Drazan told The Associated Press on Friday. “However, activist attorneys are deliberately misinterpreting legislation to prevent police from intervening. They have no business putting law enforcement and community safety at risk.”

Portland Police Sgt. Kevin Allen told AP that officers have been made aware of the “potential implications” of the legislation and that it’s being analyzed by the city attorney’s office.

“Until we have some clarity on the bill, we have to follow the most restrictive interpretation of it,” Allen said.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on Friday. Neither did lawmakers of the Democratic legislative caucuses of the Legislature, which is controlled by the Democratic Party.

Portland has seen ongoing, often violent protests since the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Some activists have complained that the police have been heavy handed in their response.

On Tuesday, police say 35 separate locations were targeted — including banks, retail stores, coffee shops, and government buildings.

Authorities say although police did not directly intervene, officers did give direction to disperse over a loudspeaker and a Mobile Field Force moved in, at which point the crowd splintered.

The Associated Press



  1. It’s pretty hard not to say that this is what our elected leaders want. They passed this law that restricts what the police can do. This behavior used to have consequences. Apparently not anymore. God help us out of this entire mess. Another thing about this entire mess. On the Oregon Coast tonight around 6pm I saw a man older than those mountains over there WORKING at the Fred Meyer in Tillamook. Literally older than the hills stocking shelves. Where are all the young able workers? I should have gone and shook this guys hand but he probably wouldn’t get it because like me, he works and probably always has.

    1. Unfortunately seeing an older man stocking shelves isn’t the fault or consequence of young people not taking said job. That older man likely needs the income due to a system that doesn’t hold up strong social services and adequate living wages for all. It’s the same with the houseless issue, unless we can have our taxes cover the things needed to be successful in society and reasonable wages that support the cost of living we will see more and more of this.

    2. Certainly this violence and vandalism is wanted by nobody.
      It seems the optics only serves the divisionists.
      Possibly the lack of initiative by the Police is a scorched earth policy, hoping for an extremist change in government.

      The outrage is the reason.

      Besides odds are the performance was orchestrated by the likes of Eric Prince, or Steve Bannon. Surely paid for by tucker Carlson for ratings you know.

      1. Oh brother!!! People like you actually do exist…. The problem simply comes from more failed feel good liberal policies. Or wait, Steve Bannon created the absolute mess that is known as California… SMH

    3. Nobody bothers to read the articles. It clearly states there was nothing legally preventing the police from doing their job in this situation. They’re just being pouty babies because the legislature dared put limits on their police powers.

    1. Hard to feel sorry this lawlessness is what 🐄 boy wheeler and brown wanted to spite Trump last year. I know not a popular opinion to have since will ruffle Barney’s 🦚 as the z has a left centric agenda. Kudos to the old dude you saw trondant come Monday they’ll 🐝 more people on the 🍞 line. If we think waiting hour and a half in drive thru at KFC is excessive could get worse Chester.🤨

        1. Blame? Like blaming police for holding people accountable for their actions and protecting themselves in the process? Blaming law enforcement for protecting a society from culture of lawlessness? When did journalists become defenders of an ideology? Isn’t it your job to present facts in your articles/comments and let people make decisions on their own?

                1. Endangered is correct Barney. It is a matter of time before the free exchange of opinions and information will be stopped here at KTVZ. So before that happens I once again want to thank you for keeping it going. One of the first steps towards totalitarianism is the removal of opinions against what the “Approved Experts” declare. Of course, other reasons will be given for why this free exchange of information is stopped and it usually includes “For the good of the public”. It has happened at most all MSM outlets and even Fox News removed comments this past week. This removal seems to be preceded by too many “dissenting” opinions. Thanks again, Barney. I like reading comments as it gives me an insight into what regular people are thinking and what they believe. It is indeed an interesting study of human psychology.

                2. Thanks.
                  But all the false ulterior motives flung at government, media and each other is one thing I wouldn’t miss, along with in general the hate, blame and nastiness a moderator must deal with morning, noon and night, weekends etc. These systems are going away because of their abuse, by any and all quarters, and if people here could just keep a civil tongue and not expect the moderator to fact-check 1,000s of potentially dangerous COVID-19 links each month, maybe we wouldn’t be on the edge of … whatever. COVID-19 misinformation was one of the many last “nails in the coffin” of this free exchange of views across the country, and as many have noted, free speech has limits and the First Amendment is constantly twist-misinterpreted (It’s about GOVERNMENT making no law abridging freedom of speech, not about privately run forums — and FCC Section 230 has become a political football as well.)

        2. KTVCNNZ and facts in the same sentence? What a joke! You parrot the leftist CNN agenda 24/7. Most of your stories link to CNN and AP stories. It’s a well known fact that CNN is considered the most dishonest in the business. White is bad, police are bad, Trump is bad etc…Never a peep out of your organization criticizing failed liberal policies. The root cause of all the problems facing Portland today. You helped ostracize Trump for trying to help last year and push the blame the police agenda every chance you get. Barney, you’re organization deals in anything but facts…. You did make me laugh out loud with that one LOL

          1. We judge each story on its own merits. No news source is perfect, including the ones you depend on, I’m sure. Over-generalizations are very sad. We report facts every single day and not what you claim.
            Feel free to go find a source that meets your standards.

        3. On Tuesday, police say 35 separate locations were targeted — including banks, retail stores, coffee shops, and government buildings.

          And you say Portland’s not in ruins? Really Barney? I mean…, really? How bad does it need to get for you admit you were wrong?

    2. A “leftist” form of dystopia, is actually referred to as “utopia”
      A extreme “rightist” dystopia is actually referred too as Anarchy.
      But colloquially we can can it “The Fourth Reich ” orchestrated by the “Fifth Column “

  2. Haven’t been to PDX for several years now and don’t plan to go there in the future. Maintaining the rule of law is uncomfortable and inconvenient at times; I guess that doesn’t fit with the progressive agenda.

  3. Ktvz, where is your article about the 100 leftist that stormed the Department of interior office in DC yesterday? Why is this not headline news? A few security guards were hurt and one taken to the hospital. Ktvz should report only local news.

        1. Proof of “lies” and we pass it along to the source, or maybe even delete the story.
          Usually it’s a matter of opinion. Folks can always reach out to the source on their own, but much more “fun” to complain here.
          No wonder we’re apparently the only Oregon TV station with a comment system any more. And constantly are asked to kill it – even in the comment system, which is sort of ironic.
          To “censor”? No, but of course the haters will claim that. To stop wasting everyone’s time with endless useless unproductive arguments among the blamers.

              1. With how many are seen everyday??? Both local and national??? You tell me why you run so many of the same stories or the same story for more than a week? That sounds like much more than mere “technical issues”. How many months does it take to find and fix those “technical issues” Barney???

                1. A long time. We have tech partners we huddle with weekly for progress on a host of issues. Small example – we now at the top of each story, where the “primary category” is listed – it’s now a link to a page of similar stories.
                  They’ve been taking a proprietary system (StoryMate) built on the WordPress platform and have spent many, many hours making it work the way we want it to.
                  CNN has a variety of feeds, and making them work as we want isn’t easy. But there’s no ‘Fox wire,’ ‘NBC wire,’ etc. There are of course super-pricey options from AP/Reuters (and no, CNN doesn’t ‘pay us’ to run their stuff.
                  Perhaps you’d prefer to only have local news here? No? Well, then, we’ll keep working at it. Some sister stations present far fewer national stories but manually curate them, rather than take the flawed automated feeds and give them to the public.
                  We prefer to focus that time and energy on local news, and to live with the issues of duplications, which hopefully most people aren’t too bothered by.

  4. Just another example of failed Demokant politics that President Trump warned you about… murders at record levels- inflation hitting decades high levels- fuel so expensive that many won’t survive the winter snow storms- back logs of food supplies and winter necessities at every port in the nation… All on Biden- Harris- and their supporters ! You think you can starve or freeze me out ? Fat chance- this country boy can survive !

  5. LAWLESS CITY is correct. These rioters have been doing this for years and should be in prison. Instead of long jail they continue to riot then get sent to jail for a couple hours and then released to do it all again with zero charges.
    How does Portland Vote.. Left or Right?
    Any conservatives in control in Portland?
    Bend is a Mini Portland and will get worse the longer we let stupid people run this town.
    Vote them out.

  6. You really can’t make this up. HB2928 states you can only use less lethal munitions like pepper ball, rubber pellets, and foam rounds,ONLY if deadly force is authorized.

    Not sure what is scarier, the clueless writing the laws, or the majority who continue to vote them in.

    Sadly, the people of Portland are getting exactly what they asked for.

  7. Now how in the world did this happen? Probably the fault of that little rascal, orange man bad, that wanted to send in the national guard to restore order, but was to told to stay out of it.

  8. The question mark can be removed from the headline. Clearly large numbers of people are committing serious crimes with impunity. That’s pretty much the very definition of lawless.

    1. That’s right. None of this changes that. Over-statements just harden the nation’s divide. Make people’s eyes roll too. Stating facts is not minimizing the problems. It’s the only real path toward solutions rather than blaming the Evil Other Side for everything that’s wrong.

  9. Plenty or FBI resources to investigate a garage door pull or arrest a granny who walked across the Capitol lawn but not enough to find democrat foot soldiers burning a city.

      1. What you posted is- True ! Anyone who hasn’t lived through the current misery in Portland Oregon- really has no right to make bold statements about the last 10 years- the place has completely changed- and none of it for the better. Traffic- crime- drugs- homelessness… all in complete disarray. Take Bend’s worst homeless road and quadruple it in size-scope-and stench and call it East of 82nd ! Ever since the Demokrat libs came to town to save the three toed frog- Oregon has been making the national headlines (like this story) for all the wrong reasons- much like he nation- ya’all can thank a liberal Demokrat with a chip on their shoulder.

  10. It’s kinda funny that wheeler and the law makers won’t respond to this. And where are all the liberals that are usually on here blaming trump for everything? It’s kinda like hearing crickets when it’s about something that is clearly the democrats fault by putting this moronic law into actual law come on Libby’s defend the law makers that put this stupidity on us.

  11. This shouldn’t even be news this is what was voted for by Democrats this is exactly what everyone that voted for Kate brown wanted this is just an extension of the “summer of love”. Lol. Where’s TAZO, MARTHA,MYFATERSCHILD, and every other leftist these are your people and you won’t defend them come on?

    1. Yup- forty years of slow boiling the frog- now look at the catastrophe the city is in- and neither Wheeler nor Brown has an answer… just hope the media covers their tails as they hide under the bed.

  12. Oh now they want the police? hmm that’s weird, could have sworn that just a few months ago they were saying that the police need to be defunded and the federal agents were in Pelosi’s words “storm troopers.” They either just need to turn the city over to the anarchists or get a top down change in leadership. A police force that is unsupported isn’t going to risk their own safety and i cant blame them.

  13. This is a great article and shows that PDX is moving in the right direction. No police violence and yet : “Authorities say although police did not directly intervene, officers did give direction to disperse over a loudspeaker and a Mobile Field Force moved in, at which point the crowd splintered.” Perfect Police intervention.

    1. Conveniently overlooking the $500,000 in property damage. Perfect indeed!

      How long do you think those businesses will still be there if this keeps up?

      1. I see my post got deleted, so I’ll reword. Business owners should consider the proactive measures their peers used in times of civil unrest in LA and Miami in the 1990s.

        1. That won’t happen in Portland today with so many of those businesses being corporate owned. Besides that, the mayor and the governor would be tripping over each other in their haste to be the first to call a press conference labeling anyone doing that vigilantes.

          It’s a no-win scenario for the victims of these attacks.

  14. For all of you liberals complaining about PPD who could have, should have but did nothing about this 100 people riot, remember, you wanted to defund law enforcement, well, you got it! You made it so law enforcement can be sued personally & civilly for doing their job, well, now you have a no action police force who won’t engage for fear of civil actions. Enjoy the hell hole you created and when you need a cop call BLM or ANTIFA. Oh!, wait a minute, that’s right, they won’t help you either because they’re the ones causing the mayhem.

      1. The damage has already been done. Back peddling the defunding stance doesn’t change anything. Law enforcement will never get their funding back.

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