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Oregon Official: Texts Show Police Collusion With Right-Wing Extremists
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=22014"><span class="small">Associated Press</span></a>   
Sunday, 17 February 2019 09:33

Excerpt: "A member of Portland's city council said Thursday a newspaper's report that the commander for the police rapid response team exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city confirms collusion exists between some police and right-wing extremists."

Protests in Portland in 2018. (photo: AP)
Protests in Portland in 2018. (photo: AP)

Oregon Official: Texts Show Police Collusion With Right-Wing Extremists

By Associated Press

17 February 19


member of Portland’s city council said Thursday a newspaper’s report that the commander for the police rapid response team exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city confirms collusion exists between some police and right-wing extremists.

“I am not shocked, and I am not surprised at today’s reporting of Lt. Jeff Niiya’s collaboration with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson over text to provide aid and support for their hate marches,” Councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement.

Willamette Week obtained text messages through a public records request between Niiya and Gibson. The texts purportedly show Niiya had a friendly rapport with Gibson, frequently discussing Gibson’s plans to demonstrate.

In one text reported by the newspaper, Niiya tells Gibson that he doesn’t see a need to arrest his assistant, Tusitala Toese, who often brawls with antifascist protesters, even if he has a warrant, unless Toese commits a new crime.

“Just make sure he doesn’t do anything which may draw our attention,” Niiya texted Gibson on Dec. 9, 2017, Willamette Week reported. “If he still has the warrant in the system (I don’t run you guys so I don’t personally know) the officers could arrest him. I don’t see a need to arrest on the warrant unless there is a reason.”

A police spokeswoman said it is not unusual for officers to suggest people turn themselves in to avoid being arrested on a warrant, Willamette Week reported.

“In crowd management situations, it may not be safe or prudent to arrest a person right at that time, so the arrest may be delayed or followed up on later It is not uncommon for officers to provide guidance for someone to turn themselves in on a warrant if the subject is not present,” Lt. Tina Jones said.

Portland police were accused at a protest last August of being heavy-handed against people, injuring some, who were protesting a rally of extreme-right demonstrators organized by Gibson.

Hardesty said the “broken policing system in Portland” must be addressed.

“This story, like many that have come before it, simply confirms what many in the community have already known - there are members of the Portland police force who work in collusion with right-wing extremists,” she said.

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-21 # Cowboy 45 2019-02-17 10:36
Patriot Prayer is not a hate group. They advocate for free speech and smaller government. How is that hate?
+3 # Texas Aggie 2019-02-17 23:28
They advocate by beating up on people. That is why they are a hate group. But you knew that, didn't you?
+16 # chrisconno 2019-02-17 11:07
I'll just bet that if this were a situation that involved blacks and hispanics they would be sure to arrest as many as they could without worrying how it might look to others on the street. Racism is such an ugly and pervasive component of our culture. We are self deluded to think that we are great.
+1 # HenryS1 2019-02-17 13:21
Wikipedia has what appears to be a calm and informative piece on Patriot Prayer. They appear to seek confrontation, but have some interest in self-policing to avoid the most violent of the white nationalists.

Free speech and smaller government is a fine phrase, but the group seeks confrontation and its actions certainly appear less lofty than its official rhetoric. The question of whether they work to subvert law through appealing to the common prejudices of policemen appears to have quite a bit of validity.

They certainly seem to feel that there is a "war on whites" that they intend to fight back at and win against, so racial polarization and fomenting conflict that they "win" appears much more central than anything Christian or patriotic.
0 # Texas Aggie 2019-02-17 23:33
"there are members of the Portland police force who work in collusion with right-wing extremists,”

It would be very surprising to find out that the vast majority of the Portland police force DIDN'T work in collusion with right wing extremists. Ms. Hardesty has been jaded by too much exposure to reality.
+1 # rl2014 2019-02-18 03:55
I learned many years ago that many right wing extremists join the police, because they believe that the police force is the last American institution where they can kill Black people (It is interesting that many police forces were begun for slave-catching) . These Neo-Nazis and Ku Klu Klan members actually join the police force with the intent of killing people of color. After learning this I was shocked to notice how many police officers in Maryland actually had white supremacist tattoos and jewelry. I started to notice it after I was sensitized to this issue. I even went to my local police station and asked why there were officers with racist tattoos and jewelry and they told me there was no law against it. I left the country about six months after that and am now living in Africa, although I miss my family, I am no longer made afraid by the police harassment that my mixed race boys were subjected to almost daily, since we lived in an affluent predominantly White community. It is hard to choose between the fear of my sons being killed or imprisoned due to the racism of America and living without my extended family, but at least my youngest who is 11 is safe. My elder son went to University of California, Berkeley and is now living there and says he is constantly harassed by police and even attacked by racist White men in the Bay Area, of all places. He says they are jealous of his car and look - He's a man of color making money and upwardly mobile. I pray for him every day.