If you knew this, then you are probably not surprised that the Portland police department has been collaborating closely with white nationalist terrorists:
Hundreds of texts between Portland police and right-wing organizer Joey Gibson reveal the extent to which law enforcement officers talked to and even coordinated with right-wing activists in order to police protests in 2017 and 2018.
The texts, obtained by WW through a public records request, show that Portland Police Lt. Jeff Niiya had a friendly rapport with Gibson, frequently discussing Gibson’s plans to demonstrate in Portland and even joking at times.
Gibson’s events, occurring regularly in the Pacific Northwest since President Donald Trump’s election, have alarmed and enraged Portlanders—even prompting the mayor to propose new rules restricting protests. That’s because the rallies have attracted white supremacists and other extremists, and are often thinly veiled pretexts for Gibson’s group, the Vancouver-Wash-based Patriot Prayer, to wage violent street fights with masked antifascists.
Niiya is the commanding officer for the Portland Police Bureau rapid response team that patrols protests. That makes him one of the primary officers collecting intelligence about protest groups in Portland.
Niiya and the Portland Police Bureau have good reason to collect intelligence from right-wing organizers. Yet some of Niiya’s texts raise questions about whether Portland Police help Patriot Prayer supporters to evade arrest during events.
Several texts involve Gibson’s longtime adjunct, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, who often brawls with antifascist protesters, has allegedly assaulted people who were not protesting, and has been arrested multiple times in Portland.
On Dec. 8, 2017, Niiya asks Gibson if Toese had “his court stuff taken care of,” referring to an active warrant for Toese’s arrest. Niiya goes on to say officers ignored the warrant at a past protest and tells Gibson that he doesn’t see a need to arrest Toese even if he has a warrant, unless Toese commits a new crime.
WW asked Gibson for comment on his relationship with Niiya and the texts. His response was brief: “Sweet,” he texted.
Portland Police have taken criticism from left-leaning activists for appearing to favor right-wing protesters in the past. Drafts of an Independent Police Review analysis of police actions at a June 4, 2017 protest noted that at least one officer viewed the right-wing protesters affiliated with Gibson’s Vancouver, Wash. group, Patriot Prayer, as “much more mainstream” than left-wing antifascist groups.
Niiya also attaboyed Gibson over his run for office.
I would note that this fort of tacit support for white supremacists is very much the rule, and not the exception, among law enforcement.
In related news:
Mayor Ted Wheeler says he directed Police Chief Danielle Outlaw [No, really, that is her name, no kidding] to conduct a “thorough investigation” of bureau communications with Patriot Prayer, a right-wing protest group that has frequently drawn white supremacists and other extremists to its rallies.
Here’s hoping that this Niiya loses his job.