Commentary

Portland Craziness: Violent Protesters Try to Prevent Police from Investigating Fatal Shooting

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Here’s a self-defeating idea: If police are trying to investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting and you’re of the sort that assumes anyone in a blue uniform that discharges a weapon is automatically guilty of something, go interfere with their investigation at the scene. And, if they’re not quite keen on you having your way with critical evidence, it’s time to employ some good old-fashioned mob tactics.

The logic of this eludes me. If you succeed and the shooting wasn’t justified, you’ve made it significantly more difficult for the officer to be prosecuted. Succeed or fail, there isn’t a silent majority — or even minority — of Americans cheering on you or your cause when it appears on the local or national news.

However, the logic of mobs is often elusive, as what happened at Lents Park in Portland, Oregon, on Friday proved.

According to the Washington Examiner, the Portland Police Bureau reported a crowd of “over 100 people” gathered to protest at the site of an investigation into a shooting Friday in which police killed a man alleged to have been acting erratically with a gun. The protest was far from peaceful; individuals reportedly threw projectiles at law enforcement, slashed tires on police vehicles and even tried to grab at an officer’s baton, in one case.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported police were dispatched to the park after a call involving a “suspicious circumstance involving a weapon,” according to police Sgt. Kevin Allen. An attendant at a local convenience store said he saw a man blocking traffic and acting strangely. He said an ambulance came to talk to the man but left without him. Shortly thereafter, the attendant reported he heard two shots from the park.

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Police reported they came to the scene at 9:30 a.m. Several officers used non-lethal force on the individual while one officer used lethal force. The individual died before medical assistance could arrive. The officer, Zachary Delong, is described as an eight-year veteran of the force, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

The name of the subject involved will be released upon identification and notification of family, as per PPB procedure.

Portland’s newspaper of record, The Oregonian, noted in a since-deleted tweet that the suspect was a “white man in his 30s,” saying they were “identifying the man’s race in light of social unrest prompted by police shootings of Black people,” according to Fox News. That prompted reactions like this from conservative pundit Stephen Miller:

And in the end, it didn’t seem to have helped much. Protesters gathered at the scene and began shouting rousing chants of civil disobedience, like “Every city, every town / Burn the precinct to the ground”:

Asking the crowd to disperse didn’t work, as the Portland Police Bureau noted in its news release.

“The hostile crowd estimated to be over 100 people tore down crime-scene police tape and encroached on the work area,” the Friday evening dispatch read. “A line of officers had to create a blockade on multiple sides of the scene to keep the crowd back.”

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Sticks and full bottles of water were hurled at the officers, according to the PPB.

“A group of people grabbed an officer’s baton and tried to pull it away. Officers deployed OC (pepper) spray to stop the criminal behavior. At least one police vehicle’s tires were flattened.

“As officers began to disengage from the scene, hostile individuals chased them, throwing things at them,” the news release continued. “Officers deployed inert smoke canisters in an attempt to help them leave, but individuals continued after them.”

According to CNN, the PPB also said the protesters were involved in other “criminal activity,” including breaking windows. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Sergio Olmos said the protesters would go on to block an intersection near the park. A riot was later declared by police, and several were arrested.

WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.

“Participants in the riot have been seen attempting to burglarize businesses,” the PPB said. Images and footage taken later that night showed police responding to a structure fire set by rioters in Portland.

A video from The Oregonian showed some of the chaos, if not the violence, at Lents Park on Friday.

WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.

Again, let’s assume this was an unjustified shooting — certainly, a stretch knowing what we know at this point, but this is purely hypothetical.

You want the cop brought to justice. You want to use the event as a wedge issue for your far-left agenda. Your strategy is … to go to the scene of the shooting, tear down the crime-scene tape, confront the police and try to chase them away from the scene of the shooting. Do you think this is a workable strategy for change?

Do you think these protesters should have been arrested?

It’s difficult to ascertain what these individuals were thinking. The safest answer is that they weren’t; they were like any unruly Portland mob, their empty sails rigged so as to be blown about by whatever violent wind of emotion seizes the far left at that moment. If it leads to them trying to prevent an investigation into an officer-involved shooting, well, so be it.

This’ll generate no sympathy or substantive results, no matter how indulgent Portland may be of this piffle. After nearly a year of seeing this kind of footage from the Pacific Northwest, there’s distinct exhaustion for this brand of lawbreaking from soi-disant political revolutionaries. It’s time for this to end.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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