Sheriffs Tell off Gov. Kate Brown in No Uncertain Terms Over Her 'Plan' to Deal With Portland Riots

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FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Gov. Kate Brown speaks at a news conference to announce a four-week ban on eat-in dining at bars and restaurants due to COVID-19 throughout the state in Portland, Ore. Asked what she thought of President Donald Trump’s insistence that he has “total authority” to order states to open their economies, Brown said Tuesday, April 14, 2020, it has been the states at the front lines of combating the COVID-19 pandemic: addressing the needs around personal protective equipment, testing capacity and hospital bed capacity. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

On Sunday, Gov. Kate Brown announced a “plan” to deal with the riots in Portland.

The plan involved getting nearby sheriff’s offices including from Clackamas and Washington County to help out.

But in a typical example of Democratic failure on the issue, it turns out that Brown never talked with these folks to confirm that this would be happening before she announced the plan.

Now the Sheriffs of both those counties are blasting her, not only for not consulting them before putting her “plan” out there, but saying that the problem isn’t a need for more cops but a different attitude needed to actually hold the rioters accountable for their criminal actions.

Here’s Sheriff Roberts of Clackamas County:

Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy not adding resources. Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence. That will require the DA to charge offenders appropriately and a decision by the Multnomah County Presiding Judge not to allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions. The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again.

For all of us in law enforcement, keeping our community safe is our first priority. Had Governor Brown asked me, I would have told her that no amount of human resources will stop the “cycle of violence” (her term) that is making Portland unsafe. For that to occur, the criminal justice system will need do its part and hold offenders accountable.


Here’s Sheriff Pat Garrett of Washington County, also turning this down:

As Washington County Sheriff, I commit to support PPB through indirect ways, like analyzing risks associated with social media, air support, assisting with a specific criminal investigation, etc. At this time, I do not plan to send deputies to work directly in Portland. PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring. However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly

The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police also said that they could not “dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve.”

Over the weekend, members of our associations were approached to assist with policing in the City of Portland. Unfortunately, due to the lack of support for public safety operations, the associated liability to agencies who would be assisting in Portland and the lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts, we cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve. We know there will already be an additional burden on local law enforcement agencies as Oregon State Police Troopers are re-assigned to assist in Portland.

We would propose the following as steps to bring an end to the criminal acts and violence in Portland beginning with a strong statement by elected leadership at all levels that criminal acts are not legitimate protest and that those who commit crimes will be held accountable. There must be support for Law Enforcement actions, through preventative detention and prosecution, when criminal violators are arrested. Finally, there must be publicly voiced support for Law Enforcement and its efforts to protect lawful protesters and hold criminal violators accountable in a very difficult environment.


There it is and it’s really that simple.

Gov. Brown, Ted Wheeler, and the Multnomah County D.A. have failed to do their jobs which is why this has continued and gotten out of control. The main problem is the failure to condemn the behavior and to hold anyone accountable for the criminal acts. The rioters are virtually always “released quickly,” out and about to continue on with rioting. There have been far in excess of 500 arrests in Portland since the riots started and most of those cases have been dropped or not pursued by the Multnomah County DA.

The Democratic Governor’s response? She “agrees” that people should be charged and booked if they have committed “serious criminal offenses.” “That’s why she’s been working today with the Multnomah County District Attorney, the Multnomah County Sheriff, and the Presiding Judge of Multnomah County to ensure this happens.” Why would she even need to speak to them if they had been doing their job, to begin with?

It’s despicable that it’s taken all this and a murder to even get Gov. Brown to say that perhaps they’ll finally do their job.


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