Federal Officers Deployed To Curb Portland’s Violence While Some Local Leaders Refuse To Accept Help
Chaos has overtaken the streets of Portland, Oregon for nearly fifty straight days since violent riots and protests erupted following the death of George Floyd toward the end of May. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf traveled to the city this week and released a statement addressing the lawlessness seizing the community.
“The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city,” he said. “Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.”
Wolf detailed the destruction and violence that began consuming the city May 29, describing multiple daily attacks on citizen’s safety and well-being that have persisted for months.
In only the short month of May, Portlanders saw several of their courthouses, private buildings, and federal buildings graffitied. Highlights from June and July include further damage to federal and private property, the police deploying the crowd while protesters used animal seeds, rocks, hammers, fireworks, rifles, commercial grade razors to cause eye damage, stun guns, spray paint, pipe bombs, and fire against the officers. July 7 was considered a “Night of Rage,” when nearly a nearly 500-person riot broke out, assaulting officers with rocks, bottles, lasers, and fireworks. The rioters also threatened law enforcement officers’ physical safety by publishing their personal information.
Due to Secretary Wolf’s new dedication to ending the excessive violence consuming the city and threatening the lives of officers and law-abiding citizens, federal law enforcement officers arrived on July 10 to help suppress the violence.
Despite his abundant failure to tame any of the downtown destruction, liberal Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced on Twitter his dissatisfaction with Wolf’s actions in bringing in help. This was following his Twitter announcement earlier in the week that he had contacted Wolf, asking for the aid of federal officers.
A number of people have asked if I know DHS leadership is in town, and if I’m going to meet with them. We’re aware that they’re here. We wish they weren’t. We haven’t been invited to meet with them, and if we were , we would decline.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 16, 2020
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, however, took the opportunity to accuse Trump of sending the federal law enforcement as a means of garnering “political points in Ohio or Iowa.” She then demanded that he remove the officers from the city. The county sheriff also refused to meet with Wolf over fear that it was “becoming highly politicized.”
Wolf, however, urged local leaders to work together to focus on reinstating law and order in his statement.
“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists.”
After months of their city’s destruction with no end in sight, Wolf took the first meaningful step in calling attention to and actively combating violence. Meanwhile, it seems the city’s and state’s far-left leaders are content to continue to watch Oregon fall as long as they give no political props to anyone within the Trump administration.
Allison Schuster is an intern at The Federalist and is also a rising senior at Hillsdale College working toward a degree in politics and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonShoeStor.