Hardesty ‘will not stand’ for deputized officers on streets

2020 Protests

56 officers are federally deputized through the end of 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said she “will not stand for deputized officers on our streets” and wants Mayor Ted Wheeler and PPB Chief Chuck Lovell to pull those officers immediately.

Last week, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown put the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office into a Joint Incident Command overseeing the Proud Boys rally at Delta Park and announced counterprotests. As part of that effort, 56 local Portland officers were federally deputized.

Wheeler said he believed the officers were only deputized for the length of time the Joint Incident Command was in place. Brown rescinded that the day after the rallies ended with few skirmishes. The mayor asked the US Marshals to remove the deputization of the PPB officers.

The US Marshal announced Wednesday it will not cancel the cross-deputation of local and state law enforcement officers in Oregon, who will remain deputized through the end of 2020.

“Law enforcement and law-abiding citizens of Portland have endured months of nightly criminal violence and destruction,” both U.S. Marshal of Oregon and U.S. Attorney of Oregon Billy J. Williams said in a joint statement Wednesday. “Officers have been repeatedly assaulted with bottles, bats, sledgehammers, lasers, rocks, and other weapons of convenience. In addition, the public has seen repeated efforts by criminals to burn down public buildings.”

That is not sitting well with Hardesty.

Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty speaks to protestors during a candlelight vigil to support Portlanders’ rights to free speech and assembly at the Multnomah County Justice Center on July 17, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images)

In a 5-tweet thread Thursday afternoon, Hardesty said “under no conditions should these deputized officers be out on Portland’s streets or responding to protests.”

She said, “This is a clear attempt by the federal government to take over our local police force, circumvent DA Schmidt’s protest arrest policy, and threaten everyone’s right to free speech and assembly. I do not take any of this lightly.”

Hardesty said the city’s request for mutual aid “was used to undermine local governance of police, and that those who made this decision are not around to deal with the repercussions Portlanders are now grappling with.”

Until the designation for those officers is rescinded, Hardesty is “asking my colleagues to join me in demanding the Police Commissioner and Police chief pull the deputized officers immediately.”

Wheeler is the police commissioner. Lovell is the chief.

“We must act now,” she said.

KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.

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