Loading...

Portland Mayor Supports ‘Kettling’ After Civil Liberties Complaints

March 16, 2021 by Daniel Mollenkamp
Portland Mayor Supports ‘Kettling’ After Civil Liberties Complaints
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler poses for a photo outside City Hall in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. –  A mayor-led press conference that prominently featured law enforcement on Monday afternoon condemned the “violence and intimidation tactics” of groups operating in Portland which they described as lawless, prone to property damage, and bad for the community.

The press conference was called following the mass arrest of more than a dozen people in Portland on Friday, March 12, which led to the recovery of weapons, including firearms and bear mace, police say.

The members of this group were detained after the police observed property damage, police said at the event. 

Portland Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis claimed that this is the same group that has been operating in the area for some time. 

“This was a group of people who have come to believe that they are entitled to damage other people’s property, threaten community members and assault police officers,” Davis said.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said during the event that he supports Friday’s use of the technique known as “kettling,” a controversial crowd control tactic, and that it was “used appropriately as a law enforcement tactic.” City Attorney Robert Taylor echoed Wheeler’s claims that the kettling on Friday was “peacefully used,” without tear gas or impact munitions, in order to end criminal conduct, and was legal.

Oregon Justice Resource Center, CAIR-Oregon, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon put out a written statement on Saturday, March 13, denouncing the use of the tactic as indiscriminate and abusive, also accusing law enforcement of violating constitutional rights to privacy and Oregon law by requiring individuals to take off their COVID-19 protective face masks, be photographed, and to show identification before being permitted to leave. 

“PPB officers commit violence and break the law again and again at lawful protests because they know the mayor, the police chief, and the City of Portland will not hold them accountable, by PPB disciplinary processes or by shifting resources, even though the lack of accountability keeps the public unsafe,” according to the statement 

Media was forced out of the kettle area on Friday, according to press present at the event.

Several community leaders, including former state Sen. Avel Gordly, also spoke at the event to say that violence and destruction don’t serve peaceful protests such as Black Lives Matter, which call for police reform and the safety of the Black community in the city.

During the conference, the acting U.S. Attorney for Oregon Scott Asphaug described his workplace as “ground zero” for acts of criminality which, he says, are falsely described as protest. 

“The people who work here support the voices of racial and social justice and will not be intimidated from doing our jobs by the ugly graffiti or broken windows,” Taylor said.

The mayor has held multiple conferences to condemn “anarchist violence” in the city since last summer, including one on New Year’s Day in which he said he would seek to implement “restorative justice measures.” During this latest call, Wheeler indicated that there was “no interest” in the measures from the legislature, though he also claimed the community is coming together against this violence.

In The News

Health

Voting

Cities

September 27, 2022
by TWN Staff
New York City to Abide by Judge’s Ruling on Vaccine Mandate — For Now

NEW YORK — The city of New York will abide by a judge’s order barring enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccine... Read More

NEW YORK — The city of New York will abide by a judge’s order barring enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of its largest police union while the decision is being appealed. On Friday, Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Lyle Frank ruled the city... Read More

August 30, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Courts Waffle on Vaccine Mandates for Municipal Workers

NEW YORK — New York is keeping its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers for now while Washington, D.C., is... Read More

NEW YORK — New York is keeping its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers for now while Washington, D.C., is losing its mandate because of recent judges’ decisions. The differing court rulings within days of each other add to confusion nationwide over how far cities can... Read More

July 19, 2022
by Eden Metzger
St. Louis Officials Advance Proposal to Help Women Travel Out of State for Abortions

ST. LOUIS — Lawmakers in Missouri’s most populous city have advanced a proposal to create a $1 million fund to... Read More

ST. LOUIS — Lawmakers in Missouri’s most populous city have advanced a proposal to create a $1 million fund to provide transportation to women who want to seek abortions in a neighboring state.  The bill approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen would use federal... Read More

May 10, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
DC Council Tries to Protect Against Restrictive State Abortion Laws

WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia Council member wants to turn the nation’s capital into a sanctuary city for women... Read More

WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia Council member wants to turn the nation’s capital into a sanctuary city for women seeking abortions who might be prosecuted or sued in their home states. A bill introduced last week by D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau would bar anyone... Read More

May 6, 2022
by Dan McCue
New York’s Iconic One Times Square to Undergo $500M Facelift

NEW YORK — One of New York City’s most iconic locations, One Times Square, scene of the annual New Year’s... Read More

NEW YORK — One of New York City’s most iconic locations, One Times Square, scene of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop watched by millions, is about to undergo a $500 million redevelopment. Jamestown, a real estate investment and management firm based in Atlanta, Georgia,... Read More

April 25, 2022
by Dan McCue
City of Charlotte Launches Battery Electric Bus Pilot Program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city of Charlotte has launched an electric bus pilot program in cooperation with the Charlotte Area... Read More

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city of Charlotte has launched an electric bus pilot program in cooperation with the Charlotte Area Transit System and eTransEnergy. The pilot initiative, called the Battery Electric Bus pilot program, electrifies a portion of the transit system’s bus fleet, a move seen... Read More

News From The Well