(Natural News) During a presentation made on Wednesday, July 8, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Deputy Chief of Police Chris Davis said that the police bureau’s daily face-0ffs with marchers and demonstrators and nightly battles with violent rioters are not sustainable.
Davis stated that, over the past 40 nights, the PPB have gone head-to-head against crowds that have sometimes drawn upward of 10,000 individuals. During these riots, the PPB were subjected to attacks by violent mobs who often throw improvised projectiles at the police, such as rocks, fireworks and frozen water bottles.
While these have definitely led to injuries by police officers, Davis refused to provide any further details, citing the need to keep the identities of the officers private. However, he did say that more than 100 city employees and members of the public have been injured during these riots.
Furthermore, because of the violent rioters, the PPB have had to respond in kind just to disperse them and protect lives and property. While some have criticized their indiscriminate use of tear gas, the PPB say that it’s unavoidable due to the nature of the riots in the city.
“We don’t want to use [tear gas] at all. I don’t like it,” said Davis, who argued that the pros of using the tear gas outweighed the cons. He explained that, if rioters are throwing projectiles at the PPB or lighting fires that can endanger private property, using tear gas to disperse them is a small price to pay to restore order.
All in all, Davis said that the riots have cost Portland over $23 million in property damages and lost revenue for businesses. This cost is expected to rise as the civil unrest continues, especially since the violent rioters have, according to Davis, learned to organize.
Demonstrators occasionally appear in protests bringing along umbrellas to deflect tear gas and other less lethal munitions, respirators to further protect themselves against tear gas and makeshift shields to protect other demonstrators and attack the police with. Davis has even pointed out how tear gas is becoming less effective, as the rioters have a tendency to regroup after police dispersal efforts. (Related: 7 Antifa rioters charged with federal crimes after weekend of violent unrest in Portland.)
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Portland police union has “no confidence” in city officials
Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association (PPA), a labor union that represents the PPB, said that he and the union have lost confidence in the ability of city leaders to stop the nightly riots that have cost the city millions.
The city council of Portland is currently composed of five members, all of them Democrats: three city commissioners, the City Auditor and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
“I have no confidence that the City Council will stand up for all of Portland,” said Turner. “I have no confidence that the city will stop the rioting and looting and protect the safety and livelihood of Portlanders. I have no confidence the City Council will guide the PPB forward to the new era of policing that prioritizes safety, equity and reform.”
The PPA has criticized calls to defund the PPB, stating that, while reforms are absolutely necessary, defunding will not improve the situation, and they are instead calling on more investments to be made to the police.
Turner, speaking as a private individual, even published an open letter criticizing both the rioters and elected city officials who have gone out of their way to demonize and vilify PPB officers doing their best to keep the peace.
In an interview with KOIN 6 News, turner lambasted the rioters.
“The peaceful protesters, their First Amendment rights have been hijacked by a bunch of thugs, by people who are out here to destroy, to damage, to cause trouble.”