News & Politics

Radicals Torch Portland Federal Building. Now They Want the Feds to Investigate the Police

AP Photo/Ted Warren

There has been a fence surrounding the Portland, Ore., federal building since July. It was removed on Wednesday night.

If authorities thought that would placate the radicals, they were sadly mistaken. On Thursday night, Antifa tried to burn the building down. The police had little choice but to declare an “unlawful assembly” and start arresting people.

But the cops used a controversial procedure known as “kettling” — a police tactic of surrounding a crowd and containing people within a perimeter. It’s controversial because the cops don’t tell anyone what exactly they’re being charged with. This has led to the ACLU and all the usual suspects asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the Portland police for “civil rights violations.”

Oregon Live:

Demonstrators initially gathered in the Pearl District about 8:30 p.m. and started marching roughly a half-hour later. Police threatened to arrest protesters minutes after the march started, saying those walking in the street were blocking traffic and would be subject to arrest, citation or crowd control munitions if they didn’t move.

Police announced about 9:20 p.m. they were setting up a perimeter around the group and detaining everyone. Police said the detention was “temporary” and that they would remove demonstrators “one at a time.”

Meanwhile, a crowd gathered outside the perimeter, chanting “let them go” and slogans decrying police.

When police detained the protesters they got their names and wrote them on a piece of duct tape. After photographing each rioter, they were released.

As far as civil rights violations for “kettling,” the last time they tried it in January it didn’t work out too well for the ACLU.

The kettling of Portland protesters most recently garnered attention in January after two federal judges either dismissed or recommended throwing out civil suits, including one filed by the ACLU of Oregon, that challenged the police practice.

The cases, which stemmed from June 2017 demonstrations in downtown Portland, were thrown out despite heavy objection from community members to the tactic — and a critical report from Portland’s police review office.

This time, the ACLU has the Muslims on their side.

The Oregon Justice Resource Center, ACLU of Oregon and the state chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations on Saturday called the Portland Police Bureau’s use of kettling “aggressive and indiscriminate.”

The groups say the agency uses the tactic exclusively on left-leaning groups and reiterated long-standing criticism that Portland police treat such demonstrators much more harshly than right-wing protesters.

When was the last “right-wing protest” in Portland? Any protests on the right in Portland are surrounded and smothered by left-wing protesters so to make the argument that right-wing protesters get off easy is absurd.

“What is PPB’s response when our community demands safety and justice? They repeatedly engage in violent and unconstitutional tactics that morally compel the community to respond through protest, mutual aid, legal action and legislation,” the groups said in a statement.

What dreamland do these people live in? Destroying property is not legal nor is there anything “moral” about it. Leaving those maniacs to tear up the city would no doubt be very satisfying to these people, but how about those whose property is destroyed?

This is not about “rights.” This is about who is going to control the streets of Portland. People who want to tear the city up and burn it to the ground or the people who want to prevent that?