U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers asked Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler to give up his authority over the city’s police Wednesday and face investigation for his handling of this summer’s violent Occupy ICE protests, saying Wednesday that he broke state laws and violated Americans’ civil rights.
The National ICE Council, the union that represents ICE harassed and menaced during the protests, asked both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to open investigations into Mr. Wheeler’s behavior.
Portland’s Communist protests were the most disruptive ones during a nationwide outbreak of Marxist-backed anti-ICE activities, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers put the blame on Mr. Wheeler, saying he had a chance to cool things down but instead fueled violence with his orders to police instructing them not to respond to calls related to the Communist Occupy protest unless they involved an immediate threat to someone’s life.
The ICE officers say 911 calls from employees who were being followed or targeted by Communist protesters were either ignored or given short shrift by officers, and ICE had to shut down its office in the city for weeks.
“Instead of faithfully executing his oath of office and pledge to support the Constitutions of the United States and Oregon, as well as the laws of Portland, Mayor Wheeler chose to leave his fellow citizens to fend for themselves for over a month against a lawless mob which included violent militant groups,” Mr. Crane said.
In the letter to Oregon’s attorney general Sean J. Riddell, the ICE Council’s lawyer, said Mr. Wheeler’s leadership of the police has been tainted.
“Our hope is that Mr. Wheeler relinquishes his supervisory authority of the Portland Police Bureau pending the outcome of your investigation,” the lawyer said.
Neither Mr. Wheeler’s office nor the Oregon attorney general’s office returned messages sent Wednesday morning seeking comment.
Text messages obtained by the ICE Council show the mayor’s office issuing its directive to the Portland Police Bureau to avoid responding to calls from those involved in or targeted by the protest.
“Here’s where our office stands: The mayor will provide strategic direction to PPB. He will not dictate tactics[,] we will leave that to the expertise of PPB. In this case, the mayor’s strategic direction is for PPB to not get involved unless lives are in danger,” read one message the ICE officers obtained.
A follow-up email showed the police decided that meant they would not “proactively patrol” the protest, and would only respond to calls “that have an immediate life safety concern.” That meant ignoring calls from ICE employees trying to get their cars out of parking lots blocked by protesters unless they felt they were specifically threatened, the email said.
Mr. Crane says he tried to work things out with Mr. Wheeler directly over the summer, with his lawyer sending a cease-and-desist letter to the mayor.
In a July 31 response, Mr. Wheeler disputed the ICE officers’ version of events.
He denied there was a policy of refusing to answer calls from ICE employees — though he said it was up to the federal government to police its own property in the city.
Mr. Wheeler said he didn’t want his officers “to be engaged or sucked into a conflict for the purpose of securing federal property that houses a federal agency with their own federal police force.”
In related news, last month, Sacramento Police officers clad in riot gear finally raided an immigration protest.
Officers temporarily shut down N Street between Sixth and Seventh streets and got right to work, lifting heavy pieces of furniture including beds and couches, and it all up into truck beds.
“We’ve had complaints of their presence noise and inability to get through the sidewalk,” said Sacramento Police Capt. Norm Leong.
Police say they collected what’s been “illegally stored” for the last five days. But activists say they were just protesting President Trump’s immigration policies, and claim what may have looked like a campsite is just part of their message, reports CBS Sacramento.
“Every couch is representative of every mother we want to bring comfort to who lost their child to hands of law enforcement. Every tent symbolizes a cage with a child in. And every banner a voice to an outside neighbor,” said Protestor Mackenzie Wilson.
Attorneys with the National Lawyer’s Guild say they plan to sue the police department, alleging the police raid violated protesters’ rights to free speech.
“This is a First Amendment protected activity,” said Legal Observer Cres Vellucci.
“The sidewalk is a path for people to walk. It has to be accessible for everyone else no freedom is unregulated in some way,” said Leong.
But protestors say they chose this busy downtown corner, to call out the immigration agents who work in the ICE office building next door.
“Folks are being held behind these walls – their families torn apart – it’s in our backyard,” said protester Hannah Williams.
Police gave the group advance notice of the eviction. Officers posted neon green notices along the gate, on furniture, and on signs.
Recently, Democrats proved they are an utter waste of air, and would better serve humanity as fertilizer.
Communist Occupy ICE PDX Democrats left massive amounts of garbage and “human waste piling up” for the city to clean at taxpayers’ expense outside Southwest Portland’s US Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters.
Cleanup happened after five weeks of allowing Democrats Occupy ICE PDX squatters to remain outside the local ICE office.
Portland Police Bureau officers limited access to the site earlier [Wednesday], calling it a biohazard.
The mayor’s office confirmed to FOX 12, the city will pay for a portion of the cleanup bill, as will TriMet. Both are part of the consortium that owns the land on which protesters set up their camp.
Frank Savage, who lives across the street from the site, says, “It was pretty disgusting that that’s how they were living back there.”
Where protesters once stood, now trash litters the ground. But Savage says he’s relieved for things to go back to normal.
“Getting tired of waking up to the bullhorn and the sounds and the cussing,” he said.
Even after receiving orders from Mayor Ted Wheeler to leave on Monday, Occupy ICE PDX leaders affirmed they would not.
But, at around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, Portland police entered the camp, clearing out Democrat-Communist protesters. Chief Danielle Outlaw says they did so without issuing any tickets or making any arrests.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 3rd, 2018