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Judicial Watch • Portland Mayor Denies Assistance to ICE, Violates City’s Equal Protection Policy

Portland Mayor Denies Assistance to ICE, Violates City’s Equal Protection Policy

Portland Mayor Denies Assistance to ICE, Violates City’s Equal Protection Policy

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During aggressive protests by criminal Occupy Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rioters at federal facilities in Oregon, Portland’s Mayor implemented dangerously restrictive police procedures that ordered officers to ignore calls for help from federal law enforcement personnel under attack. Instead of proactive support, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) were limited to a passive “liaison” role with the Federal Protection Service (FSP).  According to records obtained by Judicial Watch, PPB officers were only allowed to respond to life-threatening attacks and 911 calls made by ICE agents and FPS officers.  Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, also serves as the city’s Police Bureau Commissioner. Wheeler has been a vocal proponent in his commitment to protect criminal illegal aliens, restrict gun rights and support burdensome climate policies. Under his direction, tensions among protestors and federal law enforcement officers started in mid-June with a camp at ICE facilities in the downtown area and ended in late July with piles of trash in the street. ICE Council leadership reported hard-left Antifa members were an active contingent among protestors who besieged the federal immigration processing offices, damaged property and injured officers.

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch indicate an alarming hands-off approach instituted by PPB management. On June 19, FPS Commander Lopez asked PPB Deputy Chief Robert Day for assistance. Day’s refusal in the highly redacted document was clear: “At this time I am denying your request for additional resources from PPB.”  Officers were directed “not to proactively patrol the area of the demonstration” and to “only respond to calls at the demonstration site that have an immediate life safety concern.” On June 21, the mayor’s direction was “for PPB to not get involved unless lives are in danger.” ICE agents on the ground reported these were the daily orders given at briefings to rank-and-file PPB personnel.

Mayor Wheeler’s selective enforcement order conflicts with PPB rules. The Biased-Based Policing Policy states, “The Bureau is dedicated to offering courteous and professional service delivery and providing equal protection, a fundamental right under the Constitution, to all members of the community.”  Additionally, all employees are expected to “reduce crime and the fear of crime by working with all citizens.”  Police officers and managers are mandated to “respond to requests for police assistance.”  Law enforcement sources familiar with the situation communicated, “When local police disengage from proactive responsibilities and assistance, one can expect masked, helmeted and shielded protestors to assault and endanger federal officers.” On July 31 the National ICE Council sent a cease and desist letter to the Mayor.

In contrast to the stated commitment of City government to provide equal and effective protection, the owner of the ICE processing building, Stuart Lindquist, was singled out among taxpayers. He received a limited and restrictive law enforcement response during the Occupy ICE demonstrations.  Portland Police documents confirmed, “If Stuart Linquist [sic] or any other Linquist [sic] calls for police assistance that doesn’t fit the ‘life safety concern’ criteria, please refer him or her to the Mayor.”  Mr. Lindquist told Judicial Watch, “It’s quite an issue and of course we were without service for a month and a half. It’s something. This is a liberal town but even so.” Judicial Watch filed two other public records requests with the PBB to determine if Wheeler’s denial of assistance violates federal contractual or Memorandum Of Understanding obligations.


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