On Wednesday, July 22, Portlands three commissioners, Chloe Eudaly, Amanda Fritz and Jo Ann Hardesty, as well as by Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also sits on the council, unanimously voted in favor of the resolution. All four people are members of the Democratic Party.
The resolution solidifies into law a series of shaky agreements made by local officials to keep the PPB from collaborating with any federal law enforcement unit that is dressed in camouflaged combat uniforms.
The resolution states that any member of the PPB who “provides, requests, or willingly receives operational support from militarized federal forces” will be subjected to disciplinary measures. Some of the federal agencies the resolution explicitly bans include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Marshal Service, the Federal Protective Service and Customs and Border Protection.
The tasks that the resolution prohibits members of the PPB from participating in include, but are not limited to, embedding in a federal incident command center, receiving or sharing vital information with federal law enforcement and even overseeing riots and demonstrations and participating in crowd control alongside federal officers.
“This resolution serves as a statement of our opposition to [the federal government’s] presence in our city, direction to our police bureau, a template for policies that other cities can advance, and a national call to action,” said Commissioner Eudaly, the main author of the city council’s resolution, in a statement. She said that the Trump administration’s recent actions in Portland are violating the constitutional rights of the city’s residents. She also stated that Trump and his administration were trying to use the city as “a proving ground for fascism.”
Eudaly further stated that the “violent troops” are under no obligation to respect the values of Portlanders nor follow local laws and any agreements the city has with the federal government.
“They were not invited, they were not welcome and they are not properly trained and they refuse to leave.”
Mayor Wheeler has ordered PPB Chief Chuck Lovell to craft an order for the bureau detailing exactly how they plan to implement the city council’s resolution. Wheeler has previously stated that he believes the arrival of federal law enforcement in Portland has made the situation worse, and that the tensions between city residents and the PPB were tapering off before they arrived.
The resolution was passed mere hours before federal officers fired tear gas into a crowd of rioters outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. Coincidentally, Wheeler was in the crowd as he had been speaking with them just moments before they were tear-gassed. The mayor said this was the first time this had ever happened to him.
“This is not a de-escalation strategy,” said Wheeler moments after they were fired upon with tear gas. “This is flat-out urban warfare, and it’s being wrought on the people of this country by the president of the United States and it’s got to stop.”
Neither the PPB nor the Portland Police Association – the police union that represents rank-and-file members of the bureau – has responded to requests for comment on the resolutions.
Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the DHS, has strongly criticized the city council’s resolution, calling it a very “dangerous” and “irresponsible” measure. He is asking local and state elected officials to denounce the actions of the city council.
“Portland is again taking dangerous action against law enforcement officers. Portland’s City Council is now banning local police from providing, requesting or receiving support from their federal law enforcement partners,” said Wolf. “This includes barring the sharing of information and responding to specific threats endangering law enforcement.” (Related: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf says federal agents will not retreat from Portland.)
Responding to Wolf’s criticism, Portland commissioner Eudaly stated that it was actually Trump and his administration that are taking dangerous action, and the federal agents in the city are acting not for the people of Portland but against them.
Eudaly further said that the Portland City Council’s ban prevents local law enforcement from aiding and abetting in the unconstitutional actions of federal law enforcement that will do nothing but escalate the level of violence the people in the city are currently experiencing.
Learn more about the riots in Portland, as well as in other cities across the country like Chicago and Seattle, but reading the articles at Uprising.news.