Portland police union asks City Council for ‘zero tolerance’ policy

2020 Protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s police union is speaking out following weekend violence near a protest that left one man dead.

The Portland Police Association released a statement Monday afternoon demanding Portland City Council support Police Chief Chuck Lovell and impose a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence in the city.

“Our City was set up for a tragedy like Aaron Danielson’s murder by policies that handcuffed Portland Police from using all resources at their disposal to stop the rioting,” PPA president Daryl Turner wrote. “Those failed policies also included vilifying and demonizing the police, while turning a blind eye to the acts perpetrated by organized anarchist groups, threatening the lives and livelihood of Portland residents and business owners.”

Turner went on to criticize City Council cutting $15 million out of the Portland Police Bureau’s budget and 85 positions, including the Gun Violence Reduction Team, and implementing a hiring freeze as the bureau faces a “record” number of retirements in August.

KOIN 6 News has reached out to Mayor Ted Wheeler and other members of City Council.

Turner’s statement came two days after 39-year-old Aaron Danielson was shot and killed near a pro-Trump caravan rally and a counterprotest in downtown Portland; he was formally identified by investigators on Monday afternoon. Police have not released any information on a suspect, and the investigation is ongoing.

Photos from Getty Image’s Nathan Howard show Danielson was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat; the group’s leader, Joey Gibson, called him a “good friend” and a supporter of the right-wing group, which has frequently clashed with left-wing protesters in the area.

Monday night will be the 95th consecutive night of demonstrations in the city following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day in May. More than 280 have been arrested by Portland police in August alone.

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