No new protest, but plenty of fallout
As best I can tell, there were no protests on the streets of Portland last night. It was the slowest night in that department in a couple of months.
Where'd everybody go? Could it be that the new police policy of numerous arrests and heightened brutality has persuaded the dissidents to stay home? Or was it the full moon? Were they all watching the Nuggets beat the Jazz in basketball? Did they just need a breather? How long will the peace last?
Despite the lull on the streets, the media were still abuzz with protest-related news. First, the mayor announced that he's moving out of his Pearl District condo because the protesters are causing too much trouble for his neighbors. After Monday night's ridiculous antics, his decision is understandable, but you have to wonder where he'll move to. What other neighborhood in town would want the noise and hassle that he and his Antifa pursuers bring?
Elsewhere, a woman who allegedly was shot in the chest by a paintball fired by a prominent right-wing agitator at Saturday's disastrous downtown throwdown is now suing the guy for a quarter of a million bucks.
And there was a bit of a buzz yesterday afternoon over a report that the state troopers who are now said to be returning to Portland to quell the riots have been deputized by the U.S. attorney. The purpose of this move, it was reported, is so that now the troopers can hand over for federal prosecution cases that the Multnomah County D.A. won't pursue.
I'm not sure this is really news. I suspect that the state police were already deputized in this manner the last time they came to Portland, to replace the federal stormtroopers who were ostensibly guarding federal buildings downtown.
And even if it's news, I wonder if it's really all that significant. The feds can deputize people to enforce federal laws, but I'm not seeing too many federal laws being broken at the protests in recent weeks. The crowd breaking up the mayor's apartment building the other night weren't committing federal crimes, were they?
There certainly does seem to be a lot of disarray in the law enforcement ranks concerning the Portland mess. The fact that the state troopers stormed out of town in frustration over the D.A.'s refusal to prosecute small offenses like disorderly conduct, and now they're coming back, doesn't inspire confidence.
And to show even more confusion on the government side of the riot line, yesterday the sheriffs of Washington and Clackamas Counties contradicted the governor's announcement that their deputies are coming to Portland to help joust with the protesters. The sheriffs, like the state troopers originally, say they don't need the hassle of putting their cops in harm's way to make arrests if the D.A. isn't going to press charges. Apparently the governor never called the sheriffs before taking their names in vain.
Portland's heading into a heat wave for the next week or so. I hope the protest scene stays cool, but I wouldn't bet on it.