By Steve Pomper
Whenever I speak about anti-cop NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, I bestow upon him the dis-honorific: Worst Mayor in America. And I sometimes add “with some stiff competition.” The stiff competition comes from anti-cop Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon. I keep thinking the hands-off Antifa has gone as far as it can go in that city, but it continues unabated.
The Second Worst Mayor in America, Ted Wheeler, recently allowed—again—Antifa goons to chase, harass, and assault innocent people in downtown Portland with zero consequences. Apparently, Mayor Wheeler continues his policy of having the police stand down. Dave Urbanski of The Blaze has been reporting on Portland Antifa, including their pursuing of a videographer during the latest fascist fracas in Portland.
Urbanski reported Portland police told the victim they would not “come out and save you.” Well, it wasn’t long before The Blaze found a second video journalist whom Antifa thugs had not only chased but also assaulted with metal-tipped umbrellas and pepper-spray, which was captured on video.
Is it just me, or is this getting old? A roving knot of Antifa brown shirts ordered citizen Journalist Brandon Brown to “leave.” Under what authority, who knows? The pack then followed, harassed, and assaulted Brown. Members of the masked group taunted and took turns jabbing at Brown with their metal umbrella tips. Ironically, at least one member of the Antifa assault troops called Brown a “Nazi.” A group of bike police could be seen in the background looking toward the disturbance.
Fellow journalist Andy Ngo knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Antifa’s hate filled frenzy. Last year, Antifa members assaulted Ngo so severely he suffered a reported brain hemorrhage for which he was hospitalized. The city has not released much information on his assault case’s progress. Reportedly, Antifa has also showed up at Ngo’s family home. Ngo is currently suing Antifa.
His attorney, Harmeet K. Dhillon, tweeted, “Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government.” Come on, counselor don’t sugarcoat it.
Last November, Ngo told Townhall.com neither Mayor Second Worst nor any members of the Portland City Council “reached out” to him. Ngo also said it had been three months since case detectives had contacted him. According to Townhall.com, “Ngo said he suspects the lack of quick action for his case stems from the higher-ups in Portland.” I’ll second that.
What bothers me most, as a retired Seattle cop who’s worked his share of protests and demonstrations over a couple decades, is the lack of police responses at the scene in Portland. I wince, as publications I respect like The Blaze describe the police as doing “nothing.” It’s true, but when a statement is left dangling like that it doesn’t put the story into perspective or explain why police didn’t respond.
I understand these publications are just reporting on what they’re seeing and what people are telling them. And without the police department answering their inquiries, it’s hard to blame the publications when the cops, such as in Portland, come off as impotent or uncaring.
But, without even speaking with a single Portland police officer, because I’ve been in their positions too often, it’s not the cops who don’t care. The cops are champing at the bit to enforce the law and assist the people. Their leaders won’t let them.
Mayor Ted Wheeler (the 2nd) has demonstrated his cop-hating ways for years, now. It was especially on display in 2018 when he reportedly refused to allow officers from the Portland Police Bureau to respond to a 911 call from an ICE facility.
Whenever you read stories like this or see them on TV or social media video understand, the leaders of these cities are ordering their cops not to respond to assist citizens accosted by Antifa. In The Blaze story, Brown reported the police told him if he gets into trouble (expressing his First Amendment rights), they would not go to save him.
There are two prickly realities: One, journalists take risks and have to assume some responsibility for themselves when entering potential or probable violent situations. Two, the police are not responsible for any individual’s safety (SCOTUS). By the officer telling the reporter to avoid the Antifa brutes, the officer is passing along some good advice. Perhaps, it is all the officer is officially allowed to do. The reporter should probably heed it.
On the other hand, the reporter has a job to do and should enjoy freedom of the press—in a perfect world. But Portland is clearly nowhere near a perfect world. As long as Portland’s mayor maintains a cops-hands-off-fascists policy, all the cops can do is warn people.
Regardless of the legal technicalities, the cops are not making the decision not to act; they’re merely warning a potential Antifa victim that city leaders are ordering police not to “provoke” the crowds. The city leaders place the blame for inflaming a situation on the police, even though it’s the police who are responding to violence and mayhem already occurring or it’s imminent.
A community’s mission is not to change what anti-police politicians are thinking or doing. That’s impossible as long as anti-law and order ideologues hold office. The mission has to be to replace those politicians. If the voters truly want change, they have to elect leaders who will support the rule of law and the law enforcers.
In November 2018, people overheard Mayor Wheeler muttering, “I can’t wait for the next 24 months to be over.” I’d wager he’s not the only one in Portland who feels that way. He added the job was “no fun.” Yeah, not for Portland, either.