July 20, 2020

Donald Trump's deployment of federal forces to Portland isn't just a cynical political ploy: it's unnecessary, undemocratic and unwelcome. He and his administration must be held accountable over the escalation of tensions he has caused by sending forces into Portland to deliberately stoke violence and inflict harm. The indiscriminate use of excessive and unnecessary force by federal agents against our community members, including my colleague Commissioner Meieran, members of the media, veterans, and the public at large, is dangerous and unacceptable.

I’m encouraged to see Oregon’s federal delegation and our attorney general taking strong action to protect democracy and put an end to dangerous tactics that are designed to evade accountability and instill fear. 

Our streets are not a field for Trump’s political games. Our community has taken to the streets — their streets — to speak loudly in support of Black lives, racial justice and transformation of the criminal justice system. The County remains dedicated to working in partnership with the community to do this work, and it’s time for federal agents to leave so we can focus on those efforts. 

We have real work to do to fight the diseases of systemic racism and COVID-19 in our community. The failure to do everything we can to address either hurts all of us, but especially our neighbors of color. Multnomah County has been engaged deeply with our community to put forward and support solutions, and we are committed to the work that remains ahead.