Neighboring Police Departments Say They Won’t Help In Portland Because Of Lack Of Support For Police

( Oregon’s Democratic Governor Kate Brown said on Sunday that the state police and three law enforcement agencies from neighboring jurisdictions would be coming to assist Portland police as the city continues to experience riot-related violence.

But two sheriff’s departments said Monday they wouldn’t be sending deputies to the city. Officials from both the Washington County and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Offices said they wouldn’t be helping because of Portland officials’ lack of support for law enforcement as well as policy disagreements.

Craig Roberts, the sheriff of Clackamas County, said:

“Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence.”

Pat Garrett, the sheriff of Washington County, issued a similar statement. He said their department would support Portland’s efforts in “indirect ways like analyzing risks associated with social media, air support and assisting with specific criminal investigations.”

However, he said a lack of “political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents and unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly.”

The total number of protesters in Portland has gone down recently. At one point, there were upward of 1,000 people in the city, but now it’s closer to a few hundred. Still, protesters are becoming more frustrated with what they feel is aggression from police officers. They’re also concerned about the shooting death over the weekend of a Trump supporter.

Protests in Portland have been ongoing since May when George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis. After subsiding a bit, they picked up again following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin this past weekend. Over the more than three months, almost 800 people have been arrested while demonstrating.

Violence at the protests has been a huge concern, and it’s only intensified as there was another shooting death in the city on Saturday night. On Monday, the Portland Police Association released a statement that called for the city council to support a “zero tolerance policy” on violence during the protests.

In the statement, the president of the Portland Police Association, Daryl Turner, said:

“Saturday night a man, a human being, a person — Aaron Danielson — was killed on the streets of Portland. His race, his political affiliation, or where he was from isn’t relevant. What is important is that human life was taken on our city streets after three months of violence, assaults, rioting and destruction of property.”

On Facebook, the PPA wrote:

“It is time for the Portland City Council to support Chief Lovell and the Police Bureau by imposing a zero-tolerance policy regarding protest violence, gun violence and all other violence in the city. It is time for the City Council to allow the Police Bureau to use its resources to restore community safety before the city falls deeper into the sinkhole that has made Portland the subject of negative national news.”