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Gov. Brown issues ‘unified law enforcement plan’ to end Portland violence

Gov. Kate Brown with KTVZ 1-23-20
KTVZ file
Gov. Kate Brown

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown late Sunday released the details of a unified law enforcement plan that she said is intended "to protect free speech and bring violence and arson to an end in Portland."

Here's her full news release:

With months of nightly protests stretching the Portland Police Bureau’s resources thin, additional local and state personnel, as well as federal resources, will give the Police Bureau the investigative capacity to arrest and charge those individuals who have engaged in violent or destructive acts and endangered public safety.

“We all must come together—elected officials, community leaders, all of us—to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other, and working together.

“The right-wing group Patriot Prayer and self-proclaimed militia members drove into downtown Portland last night, armed and looking for a fight. Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.

“Time and again, from Charlottesville to Kenosha to Portland, we have seen the tragic outcome when armed right-wing vigilantes take matters into their own hands. Gun violence is never, ever the answer.

“Change will not come overnight, and, as we have seen in these last months, it does not come easily either. But we are building a more just future. I will continue to work with local leaders, law enforcement, and community leaders to bring all voices to the table to help end the nightly confrontations—but that will only come if we commit ourselves to do the hard work to bring about real change and racial justice.”

The plan involves all levels of law enforcement who have agreed to the following:

  1. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute serious criminal offenses, including arson and physical violence.
  2. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will work with system partners to hold individuals booked for violent behavior, and to ensure that there is adequate jail space to hold such individuals.
  3. As done previously, Oregon State Police will detail personnel and resources to Portland to free up the Portland Police Bureau’s investigative capabilities to arrest and charge those engaging in violent acts. OSP troopers will continue their standard practice of wearing body cameras to allow for the documentation of their activities.
  4. The Governor is asking Clackamas and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices and the City of Gresham Police Department to support the Portland Police Bureau with personnel and resources to keep the peace and protect free speech.
  5. Oregon State Police have offered over two dozen body cameras and associated evidence management to the Portland Police Bureau, and the Bureau will evaluate their use. The City of Portland has agreed to indemnify Clackamas and Washington Counties and the City of Gresham for law enforcement assistance. In addition, the Mayor will seek financial resources to reimburse these jurisdictions for their support.
  6. The United States Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will commit additional resources for investigation of criminal activity.

The Governor will also convene a community forum, including Mayor Wheeler, and inviting Black protest organizers and community leaders to discuss racial justice and police reform in the City of Portland. The group will create a venue for all community voices to come together, listen to each other, and co-create a just and peaceful future.


Earlier Sunday, Gov. Brown issued the following statement, in the wake of a fatal shooting in downtown Portland:

Governor Kate Brown Issues Statement on Portland Protests, Condemning Gun Violence

“For the last several years, and escalating in recent months, President Trump has encouraged division and stoked violence. It happened in Charlottesville. It happened in Kenosha. And now, unfortunately, it is happening in Portland, Oregon.

“But despite the President’s jeers and tweets, this is a matter of life and death. Whether it’s his completely incompetent response to the pandemic, where nearly 200,000 have died, or his outright encouragement of violence in our streets: it should be clear to everyone by now that no one is truly safe with Donald Trump as President.

“Throughout this pandemic, whether it was demonstrations protesting my COVID-19 executive orders, or large crowds marching for the cause of Black Lives Matter to call for police reform, I have supported the rights of all Oregonians to peacefully protest.

“For months this summer, we have seen powerful images of Oregonians uniting for the cause of racial justice, calling for justice for Black men and women who have been killed by police violence. We remember them, we say their names. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Philando Castile. Alton Sterling. And far too many other Black lives taken by racist violence.

“For weeks, we have also seen small groups of demonstrators from all ends of the political spectrum who are intent on committing acts of vandalism and violence. Tragically, yesterday a life was lost in downtown Portland. We do not yet know the full circumstances of this person’s death. Regardless, a life has been lost, and our hearts go out to this person’s family. We will find those who were responsible, and they will be held accountable."

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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