Portland Police Stand By Amid Violent Proud Boys Riot
During a Saturday (Aug. 22) protest in Portland, Oregon a crowd of more than 100 far-right activists staged a “Black the Blue” rally in front of the Justice Center. Hundreds of anti-racism counter protesters, including Black Lives Matter, also gathered to oppose their message.
Members of the Proud Boys hate group and armed militia members came armed with paintball guns, rifles and handguns, pepper spray, rocks, and more, The Washington Post reports. Some counter protesters brought rocks, fireworks and bottles filled with chemical solutions, the report says.Portland police arrested and seized a gun from Skylor Noel Jernigan, 27, a far-right activist, in the incident. Saturday’s rally followed a smaller right-wing event last week in Michigan that ended in gunfire.
“Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement following the Saturday (Aug. 22) event.
Although the violence qualified a riot, Portland police claim they did not step in because there were not enough officers to respond, the situation was “too dangerous to intervene,” the report notes.
“While the activity in the group met the definition of a riot, PPB did not declare one because there were not adequate police resources available to address such a declaration.”
Portland’s failure to intervene during the riots Saturday Aug. 22 runs contrary to previous police tactics during “left-leaning Black Lives Matter protests,” in recent weeks, The Post notes.