August 11, 2020 12:51
Please see the following statement from Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell:
"Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schmidt discussed a new policy declining certain cases presented to his office related to arrests made at protests.
The Portland Police Bureau remains committed to public safety. We have said repeatedly throughout these long months that we would prefer not to make arrests at all. In fact, people regularly meet to demonstrate all over Portland with no police interaction. Over the last several months, we've seen thousands gather in awesome displays of peaceful assembly.
The goal for the Portland Police Bureau is to maintain the peace and promote public safety. As DA Schmidt said today, his policy does not change the law, nor does it say his office will tolerate damage to property or deliberate violence against police or anyone else. When police make arrests, they are based on probable cause that a crime has been committed. Committing a crime is different from demonstrating. Some people use the gatherings as an opportunity to commit crimes. The arrests we make often come after hours of damage to private property, disruption of public transit and traffic on public streets, thefts from small businesses, arson, burglary, attacks on members of the community, and attacks against police officers.
The Portland Police Bureau is much more interested in collaborating with the community in ways that will lift people up. We are much more interested in seizing a positive momentum and listening to our community on how we re-envision public safety. Nightly violence disrupts our ability to do that, and the people committing the violence know that. We hear from our community every day how tired they are of the nightly violence.
As always, whether the District Attorney decides to charge cases we send to his office is up to him. The Portland Police Bureau will continue to do the job the community expects of us, and will continue to reach out to all people to connect and build trusting relationships. One of those relationships is with the District Attorney, and we will continue to work with that office in the interest of public safety.
Portland Police officers put themselves in harm's way daily as public servants. They are professional and dedicated. I am proud to be their Chief and I am proud of their commitment to serving, and protecting our community."
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
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