Texts show collusion between law enforcement and right-wing extremists in Portland

Police Portland Extremists

Alt-right agitators have shaken the city of Portland, Oregon in recent months. Protests, parades, and actual murders have taken place across the region, sometimes met with enthusiasm by other right-wing extremists. Some legal scholars agree that the Constitution tolerates hate speech, and considers that individuals have the right to peaceably assemble and disseminate their messages of hate free from harassment. However, it seems not all justice is being served impartially.

According to a new NBC report, texts show friendly correspondence between law enforcement and right-wing extremists, leading some to accuse the police department of preferential treatment:

“In one text reported by the newspaper, [Lt. Jeff] Niiya tells [Joey] Gibson that he doesn’t see a need to arrest his assistant, Tusitala Toese, who often brawls with antifascist protesters, even if he has a warrant, unless Toese commits a new crime.”

To break that down, the Portland police department sees no reason to arrest an extremist with a warrant who frequently brawls with counter-protesters. The texts reveals a level of collusion between police and protestors previously unthinkable, and break the idea of the police as impartial enforcers of justice.

With the neutrality of the police on the line, another police lieutenant offered their take on the situation:

“It is not uncommon for officers to provide guidance for someone to turn themselves in on a warrant if the subject is not present,” Lt. Tina Jones said.”

However, many aren’t buying it, and aren’t that surprised by the idea of police forces coddling far-right extremists.

Some expressed extreme skepticism regarding Portland police’s attempts to salve the wound following the release of the reports.

And the author of the initial report says that it has caused backlash against the police, and calls for more thorough investigation into police misconduct.

Ideally, police forces are supposed to protect all citizens in a given area, but in Portland, it appears, they are much more sympathetic to one side than the other.

Feature image provided via Flickr by Jamelle Bouie