After earlier marching with "protesters" to show "solidarity" for George Floyd and other black criminals who reportedly died during encounters with police officers, Wheeler is now insistent that Portland be allowed to burn while police officers stand idly by and watch it all happen.
In case you are unfamiliar with the term, deputization means that law enforcement officers from other agencies and divisions can now provide aid in the fight to restore law and order in Portland. They are permitted to perform arrests that have the option to include federal charges, particularly when apprehended individuals are charged with harming police officers.
According to reports, 56 Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies and Portland police officers, including a mix of officers, sergeants and lieutenants, were deputized last weekend -- a move that was intended to hold violent criminal "protesters" accountable for committing serious crimes under the guise of "free speech." It also aims to protect law enforcement officers from continued violent aggression, which has resulted in many of them being harmed over the past several months.
"Law enforcement and law-abiding citizens of Portland have endured months of nightly criminal violence and destruction," said Billy Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, and Ross Burger, U.S. marshal for the District of Oregon, in a joint statement.
"Officers have been repeatedly assaulted with bottles, bats, sledgehammers, lasers, rocks, and other weapons of convenience. In addition, the public has seen repeated efforts by criminals to burn down public buildings."
Despite normally lasting a year, this deputization is scheduled to last only through the end of 2020. It reportedly has "nothing to do with" Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, whom you may recall announced back in August that some people apprehended during protests in Portland would not be facing criminal charges.
Wheeler, however, who currently serves as police commissioner, does not approve of this deputization. He indicated in a statement that law and order is basically not a priority in Portland, adding that there are already systems in place to deal with "protesters" who assault or otherwise harm police officers.
"Portland is fortunate the Governor and the Multnomah County Sheriff helped protect public safety this weekend, including by federally deputizing some Portland Police officers," Wheeler is quoted as saying. "Now that Governor Brown's executive order has expired, I've asked the U.S. Attorney's office to withdraw the designation."
The executive order that Wheeler referred to was issued by Gov. Kate Brown in anticipation of a violent confrontation between the so-called "Proud Boys" group and BLM protesters during a planned rally. Dozens of BLM "demonstrators" ended up being arrested, and Brown proceeded to rescind the order after the night passed.
Law enforcement, however, wants to keep its deputization status indefinitely, which Wheeler says is a no-go.
"A key feature of the designation is that anyone who assaults a federally deputized official could be subject to federal charges," he explained. "Fortunately, I am confident the Multnomah County District Attorney will continue to prosecute anyone who assaults or otherwise harms police officers or others."
"I take assaults against our officers seriously and so does the district attorney. We need to end the violence. Anyone engaging in illegal violent behavior, regardless of their beliefs or position, must be held accountable."
For more related news about the ongoing BLM and Antifa violence that plagues Portland, be sure to check out CivilWar.news.
Sources for this article include: