Chuck Lovell, chief of the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau, has had enough.
The law-enforcement leader told reporters on Wednesday the ongoing violence by agitators in the city is detracting from the statement peaceful protesters want to make.
“Portlanders need to send a strong message that enough is enough,” Lovell said at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, according to KGW-TV in Portland. “This is not forwarding the goals that are going to lead to better outcomes for people of color. This movement is really powerful, but the violence has taken away from it…. This is not what Portland is about. This is not what we need in our city.”
He added that he has “never seen a summer like this,” and noted that shootings have gone up since the Gun Violence Reduction Team was disbanded over accusations of racism. According to Oregon Live, there were 99 shootings in July alone, up from 35 in July 2019.
Although the majority of those the team arrested were black, Lovell asserted it was not racist and that the majority of gun violence victims — 66 percent last month — are black.
“A lot of those stops end with handshakes and conversation,” he said. “And there’s a real familiarity and people miss it. We hear from a lot of people in the community saying ‘hey, we need the Gun Violence Reduction Team back. We need these officers that know our community, that know this issue of gun violence that we really relied on to help stay safe.’”
Lovell also asserted that taking police off patrol to watch protests left fewer officers available to attend to emergencies.
Protests in the evening have often turned into late-night riots, usually centered around the Multnomah County Justice Center and the federal courthouse, which agitators have attempted to damage and even burn down. When police have arrived on the scene, the rioters have thrown objects at them. This has gone on for more than two months since the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Late Wednesday, police declared a riot and said they found what they believe was an explosive device left outside a precinct. People were ordered to disperse and some streets were closed.
Additionally, police say the members of the crowd set fires, put up barricades in the streets, and broke into the headquarters of the police union. Authorities also report that someone fired a gun amid the commotion and a pickup truck sped at a group of people while pushing an unoccupied motorcycle.
Although the violence has reportedly declined slightly since federal officers deployed to protect federal property withdrew from the city, much of the unrest has simply moved to local police buildings as their new site for causing trouble.
Lovell authored a New York Times op-ed in which he called on Portlanders to cease the mayhem, arguing that “violence isn’t the answer.”
“As a Black man and a public servant, I see that spectacle is drowning out the voices that need to be heard to make positive change,” he said.
The night of May 29 was a pivotal moment for our city. Hundreds of people, in a coordinated effort, attacked the Justice Center, which includes our Central Precinct station and the Multnomah County Detention Center. They broke into the building, destroyed the first-floor interior and lit fires. Afterward, there was looting and destruction downtown.…
On one night, for example, individuals screwed the doors of our North Precinct station shut, barricaded other entrances and lit the station on fire with people inside. Nearby businesses, owned by people of color, were damaged and looted. On other nights, there were multiple attempts to breach the Justice Center. Other law enforcement facilities were targeted, including the union building, which was broken into and had fires set within.
Lovell went on to praise his officer for their “professionalism,” stating that many have been injured and received death threats to themselves and their families.
It’s worthy of note that while the media and left-wing groups continue to paint the assault on police as an issue of blacks versus whites, many of these hotspot urban cities — including Portland, Minneapolis, and Seattle — have black chiefs of police who are highly critical of the mob violence and anarchy being perpetuated by Black Lives Matter rioters and Antifa.
For the Left however, it appears Black Lives don’t matter if they’re wearing badges.
Photo: AP Images
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.