Brown rescinds joint command order in Portland

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Joint incident command structure ends Sunday afternoon

Police arrest a protester as clashes during a march following the presidential election Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Sunday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown did not renew the order that increased the presence of law enforcement in Portland, ending a recently enacted unified command structure.

The executive order under ORS Chapter 401 was put into place as a measure to prevent violent outbreaks tied to the results of the 2020 Elections. It put the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police in joint command of public safety in Portland. 

“Free and fair elections and a peaceful transition of power are hallmarks of our democracy,” said Brown on Sunday. “I would like to thank Oregonians for expressing their free speech rights largely through joyful celebrations yesterday. I’d also like to thank the city, county, and state law enforcement officers, as well as the Oregon National Guard volunteers, who worked over the past several days and nights to keep the peace and protect free speech in Portland.”

The order had been set to expire at 5 p.m. Sunday.

“I am aware that there were some confrontations between opposing groups in Salem yesterday,” the governor said. “Whether you voted for the current President or the President-elect, we are all Americans. As the election draws to a close, now the hard work begins. In Oregon, we talk about our differences, and we overcome them. We help our neighbors in times of need. That’s how we are going to beat this pandemic, to fight for racial justice, and begin the process to heal the divisions in our nation.”

On Tuesday, Brown had extended the order given the uncertainty of the election results.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released a statement thanking the governor for her assistance in looking out for the well-being of Portlanders.

“I appreciate that Governor Brown used her executive authority to bring resources to Portland during election week,” said Wheeler. “I want to thank the Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and other partners for helping us stay safe. It’s wonderful to see Portlanders celebrating the presidential election results in largely peaceful and joyful ways. As we close the door on this harmful and chaotic chapter in our nation’s history, and turn toward a better future, I ask Portlanders to use their voices in a safe way. In the weeks ahead, I will continue to work with the Governor and other partners to make sure we have the resources we need, and Portland Police and their partners will continue to hold people accountable for criminal actions so that we can all stay safe.” 

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