Mr. Garland, meet the Portland cops

The Biden Justice Department is taking on police misconduct as a project now. People around the country who wonder what that might mean should take a look at Portland, where the feds and the city police force have been banging heads, in court and out, for nearly a decade.

This month, a couple of assistant U.S. attorneys, one here and one in D.C., are in the news for calling out the Portland police for numerous persistent failures. Now the list of grievances includes excessive use of force during last summer's demonstrations and riots, and the police force's fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution is supposed to work.

After months of tense back and forth with city officials, the U.S. Department of Justice has sent a formal letter of noncompliance to the Portland Police Bureau over alleged violations of a 2014 settlement agreement guiding use of force.

The letter marks the first time in seven years that the Justice Department has issued such a warning to Portland....

[T]he two assistant U.S. attorneys who wrote the March 23 letter and are overseeing the agreement, detailed a number of incidents which, taken together, show a police bureau failing to adhere to its own policies and to properly hold officers accountable.

The letter breaks down one protest last summer... 

The feds are egregious hypocrites, of course. Under the now-departed Trump U.S. attorney, Billy Bob Williams of Hood River, Homeland Security and the federal marshals stormed into town last summer and committed one atrocity after another. Most of the troops were certifiably clueless. They escalated the violence in the demonstrations, leaving Portland in the mess it's in today. They severely injured several people, without cause, and gassed thousands. "Operation Diligent Valor," they called it. Excuse me, but it was "Operation Outrageous Horsecrap," just another component of the Trump reelection campaign. Williams and his assistants were obedient soldiers in that effort.

But the USDOJ is right about the Portland police. The local cops are brutal sometimes. Not to mention juvenile. Pepper-spraying people after they've already been subdued. Taunting. Slashing tires. They have mood swings, often as a group. They operate scared pretty much all the time. Sometimes it seems like there must be steroids involved.

I'd be a lot more willing to listen to what the cops had to say in their own defense if they were keeping the city relatively clean and safe. But they aren't – quite the contrary. They're utterly lazy and complacent on the nights they aren't killing or beating people. The town is in as rough a shape as it's been in at least 40 years, and probably longer. The police command's attitude seems to be to let it burn now. The politicians aren't buying their line any more, and so the cops, who almost all live in the suburbs (including out-of-state suburbs), are going to let it go to pot. (As well as literally defame the politicians with whom they disagree.)

Malicious neglect is what they did last night. The black-clad avengers of all societal wrongs (I may start abbreviating as BCAOASW to conserve bandwidth) blocked streets, graffitied up public buildings, lit at least one fire in the street, and trashed a traffic signal, all vaguely in the name of some cause or other. The cops duly chronicled the damage in real time and sent out a few stern tweets, including a video tweet, but they didn't lift a finger to stop the disturbance.

It's a jackass competition here, with the cops and the anarchists vying for the title of biggest jerks. It continues to be an extremely close contest. If the Biden people think they're going to score points by stepping into the middle of it at this stage, they may be making a mistake. They are not going to save Portland, that's for sure. They may even make things worse. Again.


  1. So, what do you think should be done? How should Portland proceed from this point?

    1. The first step would be to find an adult to take over from Wheeler. Then recall Wheeler.

      Mapps and Ryan need to grow up, and fast. The other two, there's no hope.

      Someone needs to kick the protesters in the ass and the cops in the ass at the same time. That's quite a feat.

      You probably also need a new district attorney, and somebody has to sit down with the judges and ask their help.

  2. Generally agree with your points but since the inmates are running the asylum in Portland, the likelihood of these suggestions ever happening is impractical. Remember, Wheeler only got a plurality in the last election. If the Other/Write-in votes had gone to Sarah Iannarone, she'd be the Portland mayor. Heaven help us.

  3. It's been exceedingly obvious for years that there is no one who can get elected who would be any improvement whatsoever.
    I don't understand why so many people act as if some mystery adults are out there in Portland who can take charge.
    The left wing filter is so tight only bottom of the barrel folks get through to any viability.

    1. I think there are plenty of good, electable people in town, but none of them are stupid enough to take the jobs. Portland City Hall is a cesspool of arrogance, ignorance, corruption, and denial.

    2. That's what I said. :)


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