On July 2, President Donald Trump deployed federal officers to Portland. Nine days later, one of them shot protester Donavan La Bella in the face with a munition (see here). The president then bragged that the feds had "very much quelled" Portland protests against racism and police brutality, which were "totally out of control." Trump also claimed that a rise in gun violence in liberal cities is the result of calls to defund police forces. In response, Mayor Ted Wheeler called the injury inflicted by the federal officer "unacceptable" and criticized the U.S. Marshals Service for "escalating an already tense situation." WW reported the news on wweek.com. Here's what our readers had to say:
Bryan via wweek.com: "Imagine being told when [Department of Homeland Security] was created after 9/11 to combat terrorism that 20 years later DHS would be deploying agents to protect courthouses from graffiti. Talk about jumping the shark!"
Robert Sauceda via Facebook: "When it comes to a pandemic response the POTUS is quick to shift the onus to the state's government. But when it comes to policing matters, all of a sudden the POTUS not only involves himself but wants to micromanage the issue? The POTUS shouldn't get to pick and choose which crisis he wants to respond to."
@eric_hedford via Twitter: "Can't believe I agree with Trump. This is a sad day."
Frankie Olivo via Facebook: "If people want these protests to die down or just stop, I think you just threw some fucking fuel to the fire."
Amber Dawn via Facebook: "Rioters, not protesters. If they were peacefully protesting this wouldn't be happening."
Jessica Birdsong via Facebook: "I don't believe that cops have a right to just declare any assembly a riot and then be able to get away with shooting and gassing people indiscriminately."
Rob Sydor via Facebook: "That person should not have been fired at with anything. Watch the video and if you are still OK with it, do some soul searching."
Sam Haber via Facebook: "I see Republicans are still all about states' rights."
James Doddridge via Facebook: "How would [gun violence] be because of defunding the police if that hasn't happened yet?"
Elizabeth Buckwalter via Facebook: "Ted Wheeler is not doing anything. It doesn't matter where we lie on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree that this mayor is not leading. He's not even playing the middle. He's just hiding out at home, hoping it will all go away."
Michael D Martin via Twitter: "Words are a nice start @tedwheeler. Now it's time for some action on behalf of your constituents."
Hoovervilles return as Trump Tents
In your latest issue, you write that the police are going to resume homeless camp sweeps [Murmurs, WW, July 1, 2020], and that the camps, 10 or more tents together, have grown from three to 40 since March 12. It doesn't take much to see that there are more and more tents going up on the streets of Portland. These were once called Hoovervilles, but now might be called Trump Tents. You don't pay rent if you live in a tent. Sweeps are obviously not the way to deal with poverty, unemployment and homelessness during a Depression. Worse is coming.
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