Portland cop accused by Antifa of colluding with Patriot Prayer is cleared

Portland cop accused by Antifa of colluding with Patriot Prayer is cleared

Back in February, there was a mini-scandal in Portland over the publication of texts which showed Lt. Jeff Niiya of the Portland Police texting with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. Despite the fact that this was Lt. Niiya’s job, i.e. to coordinate with protest groups, Antifa and Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty accused him of collusion and favoritism toward the right-wing group. Today the Oregonian reports that after an investigation, Lt. Niiya has been completely cleared:

Portland’s Independent Police Review, a city auditing division that handles investigations of high-ranking police administrators, didn’t find sufficient evidence to prove allegations against Lt. Jeff Niiya, the report shows.

The reviewers considered three allegations: that Niiya engaged in unprofessional behavior during his communications with Gibson, didn’t maintain objectivity while communicating with Gibson and inappropriately disclosed information to Gibson to allow individuals to avoid arrest.

The Independent Police Review recommended its findings to the Police Bureau. Niiya won’t face any discipline, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.

It’s good this was over, but this was pretty obviously nonsense from the beginning. When the texts were published, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said she was shocked to learn there were “members of the Portland police force who work in collusion with right-wing extremists.” Mayor Ted Wheeler poured gasoline on the fire: “It is imperative for law enforcement to remain objective and professional, and in my opinion, these text messages appear to cross several boundaries.”

And of course, the goons from Rose City Antifa were all over this. When Police Chief Danielle Outlaw held a listening session a week later it turned into a “sh*tshow” with people calling for the disbanding of the entire force:

Today, Chief Outlaw explained at a press conference that Lt. Niiya had been cleared of any wrongdoing and that it was clear the selectively released texts presented an inaccurate portrayal of his work. Then Ted Wheeler got up and offered a mea culpa of sorts. Asked why he seemed to be condemning Lt. Niiya before any investigation took place, Wheeler offered this meandering response: “In retrospect, what I would have preferred was that I—I would have preferred, and this is based on the conversations that I’ve had with many of the officers in the Bureau and sharing their feelings and their desires and their expectations, in retrospect it would have been better had I been more overt about giving Lt. Niiya the benefit of the doubt.”

Mayor Wheeler added that he told Lt. Niiya directly that he wished he’d been more clear that he was giving him the benefit of the doubt. That’s something I guess but it’s too bad for the Portland PD that their Police Commissioner didn’t know that before now. The final report on the investigation is here. Below is the full press conference. I have this cued up to Mayor Wheeler’s answer about what he would have preferred (of himself) in retrospect:

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