Since the engineered riots, which began in late May, the city has been subjected to attacks from organized groups of Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters. This time, however, they directed their senseless rage at the seat of the county government.
On Wednesday, August 19, a violent mob of Antifa and BLM rioters broke into the Multnomah Building in southeast Portland – the headquarters of the county government and where the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners regularly meets.
Once the mob made their way into the building, several people sprayed lighter fluid inside and started a fire. According to Multnomah County Commission Chair Deborah Kafoury, most of the damage was centered around the Office of Community Involvement, a department that is “dedicated to engaging community members who have been marginalized by the traditional political process.”
The Multnomah Building, according to Kafoury, is “the heart” of the county. “[The building is] where people in our community come to get married, get their passports and celebrate their cultural traditions and diversity.” (Related: Democrats still defending rioters as “mostly peaceful” after man is dragged out of his car and beaten nearly to death.)
Kafoury did not hesitate to mourn the damage done to the Multnomah Building, especially to the damaged lobby where the first same-sex marriage in Oregon took place back in 2014. However, her statement was missing any actual condemnation of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, the main groups that are responsible for the destruction in the building. Instead, Kafoury seemed to place the blame on American society as a whole and on some perceived historical injustice perpetrated by the county.
“I acknowledge that there is grave injustice in our world and there is a violent and tragic history of oppression in our County. I am committed to transformational change … In such a difficult, uncertain time, our community needs all of us to work together,” said Kafoury in her statement.
At the beginning of her statement, Kafoury also said that the Multnomah County Building was attacked by only “a small group,” a claim that has been debunked by journalists who witnessed the event and said that there were at least “several hundred Antifa rioters” who were involved in the break-in and arson attacks.
Furthermore, Kafoury's own statement paled in comparison to the one released by Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese, who did not mince words when he talked about how there is no place for violence in a civilized society.
“The unprovoked actions by those who engaged in criminal behavior is reprehensible,” said Reese. “It is simply violence and serves no legitimate purpose. It does nothing to solve the issues our community faces.”
Reese went further by backing his words with actions. He said that the investigations unit of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has been busy reviewing video and other evidence in order to identify and possibly press charges against the suspects behind the arson attack.
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For his part, the newly elected district attorney of Multnomah County, Mike Schmidt, has also condemned the violence. In a statement, he said that the “violent and intentional criminal behavior” that occurred has no place in the county, and it disrespects the work done by the people who serve a critical mission for the county, especially to the marginalized communities that live in it.
“Breaking out windows, setting fires and committing assaults will not bring the much needed reform we need. … I continue to condemn this violence. As Sheriff Reese said, it has no legitimate purpose. This destructive and illegal behavior needs to stop.”
As strong as that statement may be, it is severely weakened by the fact that Schmidt, on his first day in office, introduced a policy that would allow a large majority of the roughly 550 pending misdemeanor and felony charges placed upon the Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters in Portland to be dropped. The DA's office has attempted to argue the benefits of this decision by talking about how “restorative justice” can better help the community resolve their concerns with criminals.
With local elected officials unwilling to resolve the problem, and outright refusing to accept aid from the federal government, the riots in Portland will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future. Stay updated on the latest events there as well as in other Democrat-controlled cities like Seattle and Chicago by reading the articles at Rioting.news.