Last weekend, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a planned demonstration by the Proud Boys in his city. As part of the preparations for possible violence, dozens of Portland Police Department officers were deputized by federal agents. The plan seemed to work out fairly well all the way around, but this week Wheeler has come forward to complain about the process, declaring that his office didn’t really understand how it all worked and calling for an end to such deputation of his cops.
So what’s causing this sudden change of heart? When Wheeler was panicking over the idea of the Proud Boys coming and putting the boot to some of the Antifa thugs who are burning down his city, he seemed more than willing to accept some help from the feds. But now he claims that he didn’t understand that the deputation would last until the end of the year. He’s also “concerned” that attacks on police who have been federally deputized could lead to more serious federal charges against people who attack them. Seriously? (The Hill)
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said on Tuesday that he asked U.S. officials to end the federal deputation of police officers in the city in response to months-long demonstrations.
Wheeler said he “asked the U.S. attorney’s office to withdraw the designation” that deputized the officers, The Associated Press reported.
“A key feature of the designation is that anyone who assaults a federally deputized official could be subject to federal charges,” Wheeler said in the statement, according to the newswire. “Fortunately, I am confident the Multnomah County district attorney will continue to prosecute anyone who assaults or otherwise harms police officers or others.”
We should probably first note the rather twisted attitude of the Mayor when it comes to the turmoil in his city’s streets. When the Proud Boys come to town, it’s a federal emergency. But on any other night when residents and business owners are being terrorized, shops are being looted and buildings set on fire, it’s a “fight for racial justice.” How this man manages to hold a press conference with a straight face remains a mystery.
In terms of the deputation process, it serves a number of productive purposes. Federally deputizing the police allows for more formal cooperation, coordination, and sharing of resources when dealing with rioters in the streets. Additionally, as the Mayor himself pointed out, attacks on federally deputized police officers open the door to substantial federal charges against anyone attacking them. This offers the perhaps futile hope that some of the rioters will think twice before attacking the cops. If they see some of their buddies heading off for ten years in the Crowbar Hotel instead of a night in the drunk tank and a slap on the wrist, they might think about leaving their Molotov cocktails at home.
Wheeler seeking to undo the deputation process is nothing but yet another signal that he’s afraid of angering the rioters. He still seems to be clinging to the futile idea that if he can appease them enough they will somehow disband and return the city to some sense of normalcy. This attitude is also reflected in the very different ways he reacts to a Proud Boys demonstration as compared to Antifa. In his comments this week he said, “Those engaged in violence and hate are working in opposition to racial justice. They are creating the conditions that allow white supremacy and intimidation to thrive.”
Here’s a news flash for you, Mr. Mayor. You don’t have a white supremacy problem. You don’t have a racism problem. You don’t have a police problem. You have a rioting problem being driven by violent left-wing thugs and opportunistic criminals who are taking advantage of the chaos to gut the City of Portland. Perhaps you should stop trying to blame everything on the Bad Orange Man and restore order to your streets. Just a thought, anyway…