LEGALIZING MAYHEM: Portland’s Prosecutors Drop 90% of Protest Cases
You book ’em, we’ll release ’em.
Portland prosecutors have decided to pursue cases for only 19 out of 213 protesters arrested during the month of September stemming from the city’s nightly unrest, which means about 90 percent of those arrested got away scot-free.
Breitbart, citing the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, reported that, since May, prosecutors dismissed more than 70% of the nearly 1,000 arrests. The Oregonian reported that prosecutors have dealt with 974 criminal cases And have dropped 666 without filing charges.
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District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in August that his office would not prosecute those arrested on city ordinance violations that don’t include allegations of property damage, theft or the threat of violence, KGW8 reported.
“The prosecution of people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly in a non-violent manner takes away from the limited resources that we have to prosecute serious crimes and to assist crime victims,” he said when announcing his approach months ago.
The office said it published the data online to provide full transparency to the public.
Portland has been ground zero of violent clashes since protests emerged in major cities across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody. President Trump has blamed the city and state’s Democratic leadership for its inability to get a handle on these violent rallies that have targeted the police union building, a federal courthouse and an ICE facility.
The Portland Mercury reported that Schmidt, a “progressive,” has been criticized by the Portland Police Association and the U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams for his approach. The paper reported that Schmidt ran and won earlier this year—in part—based on his approach to mass incarcerations.
“This is why our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment,” Starnes said back in August. “I just hope the good citizens of Portland have engaged in their right to bear arms.”