Is it time for a curfew in Portland?

This weekend's developments on the Portland protest front were as disturbing as they've been in the whole epic drama. On Saturday afternoon and night, and again last night, "protesters and counter-protesters clashed," as the media would say. But let's be specific. At least one gun was fired. Mace was sprayed. Explosives were set off. A man was beaten with a baseball bat. The police were nowhere around any of it. And last night, a scene of absolute horror took place.

Some nut driving a white pickup truck with no license plates, with a female passenger on board, got into it with protesters downtown. Video shows him driving erratically on Taylor Street down by the infamous 7-Eleven. Some Tweeters said that he tried to run people over. Another report said a woman was attacked.

Somehow the truck wound up on the sidewalk at Broadway and Taylor, right in front of the beleaguered Columbia Sportswear store. At that point, several cameras were rolling. An angry crowd forced the guy out of his truck and beat him unconscious. He was outnumbered and overwhelmed. 


As he sat, bloodied, on the asphalt, a member of the crowd delivered a devastating soccer kick from behind that knocked him out cold. I will resist the temptation to embed the appalling video on this page. If you want to watch it, here's the link. I'm sure it will be quite viral in no time.


An ambulance came and took the unconscious guy away. The cops towed the truck. His distraught passenger got in a car driven by someone else, and left. "That's what he gets" seemed to be the universal sentiment among the "protest" crowd.

If that guy dies, it was murder. Whatever crimes he may have committed (and he should be prosecuted for them), savagely beating him is not how a civilized society deals with such things.

It's clear that the situation in Portland has now degenerated to the point where lives are going to be lost, if one was not already lost last night. I don't know where the mayor and the governor have been all weekend, but they had better wake up and act soon. I'm happy I'm not in either of their shoes. However, if I were, I'd have to be considering something along these lines:

1. A state of emergency.

2. A citywide curfew, from sunset to sunrise, until things cool off. And a huge enforcement effort to back it up. I'm talking National Guard level. Along with a place to detain, overnight, up to hundreds of people who won't comply. The Convention Center would work. Or the Expo Center. Or an airplane hangar out in Troutdale. You want to protest? You still have 14 hours a day to do that. But if you march around at night, you go to jail.

3. Tight police monitoring, and controlling, of the "counter-protesters," just as the cops are all over the "protesters." End the widely held perception that the police are white supremacy sympathizers.

4. A demand that the rookie district attorney get off his high horse and get on board with enforcing a curfew.

5. A new police chief. The guy who's in there now can't handle this.

Because someone is going to get killed.

I repeat: Someone is going to get killed.

Maybe multiple someones.

Crazed zealots firing handguns and trying to run people over? Raging mobs beating people unconscious? The majority of Portlanders have had enough. It has to be stopped. It is the mayor's job, the governor's job, the district attorney's job, to bring it to an end. 

And sadly, they're not doing their jobs right now. 

Comments

  1. That's chilling. Portland has just given America another Reginald Denny moment.

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    1. You called it, Bill, back when the first Gateway neighbor thing happened. I've been watching it ever since.

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  2. Man, this year is putting me in a heavy nostalgic mood for an earlier version of Portland. For some reason I've been thinking about the late Gert Boyle, the powerhouse behind Columbia Sportswear. Did you ever meet her? That woman was a real trip - her biography was called "One Tough Mother." Let's just say this incident isn't the first serious trouble that landed on her doorstep.

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    1. She was the victim of a home invasion once, as I recall. Tough, all right. "Ma."

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  3. You seem to put a lot of blame on the driver “should be prosecuted” and little or none on the attackers. Just saying.

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    1. Of course, the attackers should be prosecuted. I say in the post, if the guy dies, this is murder. If he doesn't die, it's felony assault.

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    2. If he dies would govern Brown order flags to half mast?

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  4. Well as of 7:00 PM neither Ted or Kate have made any mention of the incident(s) on their Twitter Page. But Ted did find time to make numerous posts on the Blazers and I also learned that Ted prefers to be referredto using traditional male pronouns. I guess that’s a start right?

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    1. At least the D.A. and the police chief said something.

      https://www.kgw.com/article/news/crime/downtown-portland-video-assault-reaction/283-80e9ef1a-26be-4942-8ba8-0f5a1e57d473

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    2. Well just watching the 9:00 news and Ted finally put out a statement. Of course it was rife with social justice lip service, just like the comment from the D.A.’s was. Can’t these people just condemn something that is obviously wrong without seemingly try to play both sides? Yeah, Portland residents (and the rest of the country) are well aware of the protest movement. Whatever relevancy the protests might have had at one time has long since passed.

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    3. Ted may lose his job. Not that he needs it, but I'm sure he has big dreams of going to Washington, D.C. So he's gonna both-sides it as much as possible. The only thing I've ever seen him stand up for was when he was state treasurer and he defended his investment guys' ridiculous expense accounts.

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    4. Yeah he might, but the alternative is even worse so it is a lose-lose for the foreseeable future. I tell you what......if I was that developer sinking all of that money into that new Ritz Carlton I would fill that hole back up and get out of town ASAP. Tell Ted that he can see him in court.

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  5. Jack, you are stating that notwithstanding that you are not the Governor or the Mayor (“not in either of their shoes”), that if you were you would "consider" something along these lines; (1) [Declaring] a state of emergency; (2) [imposing] a CITYWIDE curfew, calling out the National Guard, and setting up a place to detain up to hundreds of people should they not comply with the curfew; (3) police monitoring and controlling “counter protestors” just as they are “all over” the “protestors;” (4) demanding that Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt “get on board” with enforcing a curfew; [does that mean charging and prosecuting all curfew violators?]; and (5) replacing the current police chief.

    Although you indicate this is only a matter of your consideration in a hypothetical situation where you were Mayor or Governor, aren’t you indeed ADVOCATING for: declaration of a state of emergency; a CITY WIDE curfew (for the entire city of some 145 square miles not just the areas of protest activity centered around the U.S. Courthouse in about six square blocks); calling out the National Guard; preparing to detain hundreds of people; monitoring and controlling both “protestors and counter-protestors,” and firing the police chief?

    Without nit-picking your statements any further, I will just concur with your observation that given the ongoing violence in the city of Portland, somebody may indeed get killed, whether it is a protestor or as you indicate a “protestor” or a counter-protestor (“counter-protestor”) or a local police officer. By all means, prosecute criminals, but in the interim are we to forbid all citizens from exercising any first amendment rights to peacefully assemble and protest after dark under a sunset to sunrise curfew, calling out the National Guard to enforce it?

    ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    [Evelyn Beatrice Hall, although often attributed to Fran├žois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire.]

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    1. If I wanted to advocate, I'd advocate. It's phrased as a question. Maybe it's too extreme a proposition.

      No cops are likely to be killed. They have the guns, the helmets, the tear gas, and the bullet-proof vests, and their number 1 concern at all times is that they don't get hurt. They're quite expert at it.

      The criminals in the protest crowd seem to be beyond apprehension. Whether the cops are competent or not, they are clearly unable to weed out the "bad" from the "merely annoying." People burglarizing the union office, lighting dumpsters on fire in the street, starting a fire in a police precinct foyer – no arrests for any of that, apparently.

      I do believe that a curfew will in fact be imposed when fatalities occur. Like I say, you can have all the First Amendment you want from dawn 'til dusk. And as far as the boundaries of the curfew zone are concerned, in addition to downtown, you'd have to include the four east side hot spots: the police union office (Lombard), North Precinct (MLK), East Precinct (Gateway), Southeast Precinct (Laurelhurst). Citywide would be easier.

      We had a curfew after jewelry stores were looted a few months ago. I value human life higher than jewelry.

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    2. If I wanted to advocate, I'd advocate. It's phrased as a question. Maybe it's too extreme a proposition.
      FAIR ENOUGH.


      No cops are likely to be killed. They have the guns, the helmets, the tear gas, and the bullet-proof vests, and their number 1 concern at all times is that they don't get hurt. They're quite expert at it.

      The criminals in the protest crowd seem to be beyond apprehension. Whether the cops are competent or not, they are clearly unable to weed out the "bad" from the "merely annoying." People burglarizing the union office, lighting dumpsters on fire in the street, starting a fire in a police precinct foyer – no arrests for any of that, apparently.
      THE SAME OLD STORY WITH MANY HISTORIC PROTESTS< INCLUDING "MY PROTETS" DUIRNG THE VIETNAM ERA, ALWAYS SOMEBODY THROWING SO|METHING AT THE POLICE FROM THE CROWD, AND THEN RUNNING AWAY OR HIDING IN THE CROWD. SO OF COURSE MANY "PEACEFUL PROTESTERS" GET HURT AS YOU HAVE OBSERVED WHEN THE POLICE "BULL RUSH" 'THE CROWD.


      I do believe that a curfew will in fact be imposed when fatalities occur. Like I say, you can have all the First Amendment you want from dusk 'til dawn. And as far as the boundaries of the curfew zone are concerned, in addition to downtown, you'd have to include the four east side hot spots: the police union office (Lombard), North Precinct (MLK), East Precinct (Gateway), Southeast Precinct (Laurelhurst). Citywide would be easier.

      PERHAPS NO SO EASY AT ALL. REQUIRING POLICE TO PATROL THE ENTIRE CITY . SEE PORTLAND CITY CODE 15.08.020 "AUTHORITY DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY" PERMITTING THE MAYOR TO "BARRICADE STREETS AND PROHIBIT VEHICULAR OR PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC< OR REGULATE THE SAME ON ANY PUBLIC STRET LEADING TO THE AREA DESIGNATED AS AN EMERENCY AREA FOR SUCH DISTANCE AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND PROHIBIT OR LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PERSONS WHO MAY GATHER OR CONGREGATE UPON ANY PUVBLIC STREET, PUBLIC PLACE, OR ANY OUTDOOR PLACE WITHIN THE AREA DESIGNATED AS AN EMERGENCY AREA, ESTABLISH A CURFEW FOR THE DESIGNATAD EMERGENCY AREA WHICH FIXES THE HOURS DURING WHICH ALL PERSONS OTHER THAN OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL MAY NOT BE UON THE PUBLIC STREETSA OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACES.

      We had a curfew after jewelry stores were looted a few months ago. I value human life higher than jewelry.
      ME TOO!


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