Portland Mayor Tone Deaf on Officers Reasons for Mass Resignations as Protests Continue
PORTLAND, Ore. — As riots again raged in a city under siege from an endless stream of “protests” that seem to have no defined purpose or ongoing cause, the Mayor of Portland, who is also the self-appointed police commissioner wanted to remind police that he supports them according to a recent statement to the media.
Despite a mass exodus of experienced officers leaving the Portland Police Bureau, Ted Wheeler stated “I believe as the mayor of this city, I have supported them. Supporting them though does not mean discouraging change, I think they need to evolve. I think they need to hear what people are saying around the needs for improvements around public safety.”
LENN spoke to an area resident that did not want to be identified that referred to Wheeler as “Tone Deaf Teddy” in reference to how many see Wheeler, who over the summer that saw over 100 nights of violence on the city streets, marched in solidarity with protestors, stripped police of defensive measures, and appeared to support the Multnomah County DA’s office’s stance to not file charges on rioters arrested by police during the nightly melees.
A total of seventy officers to date have left the Portland Police Bureau, with many more slated to leave the agency over the next year, which will undoubtedly challenge the agency’s ability to provide adequate police services to those who need it.
Local news station KATU obtained exit interview documents this week from seventeen officers who recently departed the agency. Many of the documents showed a pattern of frustration and complete lack of faith in the mayor, with many fearing for their safety after the mayor placed so many restrictions on officers during the summer riots that officers were regularly being hurt on the job due to the cities policies.
“The lack of support from mayor and city council makes it a very easy decision to retire,” was a comment contained in the FOIA documents obtained by KATU that can be read in full here.
As droves of officers look at any way to leave the troubled city and agency, even those that remain have a dim view of Wheeler and his policies. “He’s absolutely missing the point and he works hard to play both sides. Every member of PPB sees right through it. On one hand, he says he’s worked hard to get us what we need, on the other, he throws cops under the bus who have been out every night doing their best to handle the unrest he has refused to address. These cops are doing the right thing and are doing it within the law, and within policy, but he’s still pulling people off the street without due process because of optics and because of politics.” an officer from PPB who wishes to remain anonymous told LENN today when asked about Wheeler’s recent comments.
Jo-Ann Hardesty the city commissioner who actively pushes defunding the Portland Police who despite being anti-police, herself called police last week after a Lyft ride mishap also appeared not to be bothered by the number of police leaving the agency, stating in an interview with KATU that she did not want the city to hire more officers, stating that the agency was dysfunctional and needed to be fixed before new officers were hired.