Shouts, Stomps and Boos Dominate Listening Session On Portland Police Relationships With Right-Wing and Leftist Protest Groups

Throughout the session, held inside a Northeast Portland church, people booed, jeered, clapped and cheered.

A listening session hosted by Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Ted Wheeler resulted in a lot of yelling, stomping, and hissing as people aired grievances old and new against the Portland Police Bureau.

The session was scheduled in the wake of stories in WW and the Portland Mercury that revealed hundreds of friendly texts between a police lieutenant and right-wing protest leader Joey Gibson.

Two people spoke in support of PPB and said they thought Lt. Jeff Niiya's texts did not fall out of the bounds of normal police work. James Buchal, head of the Multnomah County Republican Party, urged police to do more to stop antifascist demonstrators from vandalizing property or blocking traffic—though he also said he does not "defend anybody's right to punch anybody in the face or pull people's masks off." (Gibson started a campaign to pull off antifascist protesters' masks and another Patriot Prayer regular, Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, is known for throwing punches.)

The vast majority of speakers, however, came to express concerns over police interactions with right-wing groups and the perception of bias against leftists in police tactics at protests.

Throughout the session, held inside a northeast church, people booed, jeered, clapped and cheered.

Near the end of the session, Patriot Prayer supporter Haley Adams jumped out of her seat—for reasons that remain obscure—and rushed the dais where Mayor Ted Wheeler and Chief Danielle Outlaw were sitting, among other police leaders. She was asked to return to her seat, and she stormed to the back of the room shouting "This is a church? I'm not welcome?"

Then, she stood on a pew and continued to shout before being kicked out of the church.

Other speakers appealed to the police to end the use of riot control agents that have sent protesters to the hospital, asked Outlaw to address comments she made on a conservative radio show last year, and urged Wheeler to hand the reigns of the bureau to Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

Wheeler told WW last week that he is not considering ceding control of PPB.

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