Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner slammed elected officials at a press conference on Sunday, a day after the union’s offices were set on fire amid continuing riots in the city.
Since the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers, Portland has seen 50 days of protests and riots. Federal law enforcement officers have deployed to the city over the past several weeks, clashing with protesters.
Turner alleged that Oregon officials have allowed the violence to continue unabated.
“The elected officials have condoned the destruction and chaos,” Turner said on Sunday, standing with 20 faith and business leaders from Portland. “They have placed their political agenda ahead [of the] safety and welfare of the community. This must stop.”
Turner continued, “This is no longer about George Floyd, racial equity, social justice reform or the evolution of policing,” Turner said. “This is about violence, rioting and destruction. Our city is under siege by rioters.”
Portland mayor Ted Wheeler on Friday accused the Trump administration of fanning the violence by ordering federal law enforcement to crack down on the riots and protests.
“Last week, we were seeing the deescalation of the violence. We were seeing things calm down. But the intervention of federal officers reignited tensions,” Wheeler said in an online press conference with Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “I think we would have seen the end of this nightly engagement by now.”
Lovell indicated that federal officers and local police were not coordinating with each other.
“The federal officers have their objectives, and the Portland police has our objectives. We don’t direct federal officers’ actions, and they do not direct ours,” Lovell said.