Readers Respond to Feds Deputizing Portland Police Officers

“Put the PPB and [Multnomah County sheriff’s] officers that are now effectively feds on desk duty. Now. For the duration. Period.”

Police officers exit a riot van, rush crowd on 3rd avenue for standing in the street. (Alex Wittwer)

At the end of September, more than 50 officers of the Portland Police Bureau were made deputy U.S. marshals as part of a coordinated law enforcement response to a right-wing rally and counterprotests in North Portland. The deputization will remain in effect until the end of the year. But City Hall and the governor's office believed the deputization was only good for the weekend. Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded the deputization be revoked. U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams refused. As reported Oct. 1, Gov. Kate Brown—who invoked her emergency authority to make the plan happen—says she didn't help decide how long the deputization would last. Here's what our readers had to say:

@SoldierMedicSi via Twitter: "She's acting like she's powerless. We have states' rights. The federal government is overstepping."

@XR_PDX via Twitter: "'I did not know' is not a defense, Gov. Brown. Especially for elected officials in positions of power."

@cathyxOR via Twitter: "OK you do it, but I'm going to leave the room so it looks like I'm not part of the decision."

BetsyToll via "Put the PPB and [Multnomah County sheriff's] officers that are now effectively feds on desk duty. Now. For the duration. Period."

Brian LeVene via Facebook: "This doesn't affect or bother a single protester, because the protesters are just that, protesters. The handful of violent agitators may have something to be concerned about, though."

Jonathan Henderson via Facebook: "I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that 'states' rights' conservatives are not going to object to this clear federal overreach."

Mik El via Facebook: "It means nothing for peaceful protesters. It means a criminal record that'll follow you forever if you're a rioter. Don't cause trouble and you won't have to worry."

reasonandsalt via "Pretty easy to avoid a federal indictment. Don't destroy property that doesn't belong to you, don't use laser pointers, don't set stuff on fire, don't throw projectiles at other people, and if the protest turns into a riot (i.e., a bunch of idiots doing dangerous things), have the judgment to go back home and chill. It's not hard."

TK via "Yeah, and don't be a media member trying to document their actions. And also don't be a peaceful protester. You never know, you could be beaten because…fog of war, and all that."

@PDXperplexed via Twitter: "I'm comforted by the fact that our governor and the Portland mayor/police commissioner are so competent that they had no idea this was happening. Remind me how dumb the feds are again?"

Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.