Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw Made Bold Claims in a Radio Interview Last Week. Were They True?

One of the most interesting claims: Outlaw says antifascist hurled racial invective at her.

(Liz Allan)

In a revealing interview with conservative talk-radio host Lars Larson on Aug. 14, Outlaw sharply criticized antifascist protesters and defended police tactics in the wake of multiple people being sent to the hospital after being hit with riot control agents.

We examined the veracity of the claims she made.

What Outlaw said:

"I went down there on Naito Parkway, and they were yelling at me and calling me everything but my name. Saying 'How dare you?' 'You're a hypocrite.' 'How do you think other black people feel?' 'How do young black girls, how do you think they can look up to you now?'"

Is it true? Yes. And it's not the first time antifascist and leftist protesters have hurled racially charged insults at law enforcement officers who are also people of color. At the Occupy ICE protest outside a federal immigration building this summer, several protesters screamed at black, Asian and Latino Federal Protective Service officers who stood in a police line in front of the building's driveway, alleging that the federal officers were betraying other people of color.

Leftist protesters taunt Portland police on Aug. 4. (Daniel Stindt)

What Outlaw said: 
"At that particular time, [the counterprotest] is the group that was lobbing projectiles and setting off smoke bombs and, you know, showing up in flak jackets and bringing guns and wearing helmets."

Is it true? Yes, but it's misleading. Outlaw's claims that some counterprotesters wore helmets and flak jackets is accurate—but so did many of the right-wing protesters who showed up on Aug. 4. After the interview, the Portland Police Bureau clarified that officers reported seeing guns among both protest groups. Whether protesters threw objects at police is still disputed.

Portland police confront protesters on Aug. 4. (Sam Gehrke)

What Outlaw said:
"The fact that I, as a very obvious African-American female police chief, have been accused by those within [the antifascist] group or those that support that group as being a supporter and protector of those who are believed to be white supremacists (if that's even the case) is ridiculous."

Is it true? No. Outlaw's claim that it is ridiculous to suggest she protects racists is more a matter of opinion than fact. But her questioning whether the right-wing protesters had white supremacists in their ranks ignores reality. Racist and anti-immigrant activists have always flocked to Patriot Prayer rallies. On Aug. 4, people with SS bolt tattoos, a Nazi symbol, were seen in the crowd, as reported by WW.

Occupy ICE (Sam Gehrke)

What Outlaw said: 
"I wasn't asking for permission to go out and clear this [Occupy ICE] camp. I said, 'This is what's going to happen and here's how it's going to happen.' And again, I got the support to do that."

Is it true? Yes. Mayor Ted Wheeler's office confirms Outlaw's description of this conversation is accurate.

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