As a relatively new resident, some thoughts on your editorial last week (“Courts must end democracy’s worst nightmare,” published July 22).
Portland has suffered through almost 60 nights of disruption before the executive order was issued to have federal officers brought in to protect a federal courthouse. They secured the federal courthouse with a fence, yet the building has suffered extensive damage. How is protecting some federal property an “occupation” of the city?
Didn’t the mayor and governor take an oath of office to keep residents safe and secure order? Yet they joined rioters and “protesters” to demand that federal agents leave town. If local police had controlled the riots and permitted peaceful protests without extensive damage, do you believe that federal agents would have been necessary?
How would you suggest that federal property be protected in Portland, not to mention properties in the rest of the downtown?
Why should the mayor be surprised at the response to the riot when his police department declared a riot, issued a dispersal order and warned that rioters would be subject to arrest, the use of riot control weapons, tear gas and/or other impact weapons?
If the city were so safe, why did the mayor need a security detail to protect him when he ventured into a riot?
On what basis do you believe that federal agents can’t secure and protect federal property, including arresting rioters as they attack agents and destroy property, often between midnight and 5 a.m.? Doesn’t the FBI investigate and arrest suspects all over the country without the invitation of local authorities?
How far can residents go to exercise their rights to assemble and protest? Can they throw explosive devices? Use baseball bats and shields or project ball bearings at officers?
We will see if a federal inspector general can confirm your example of the assault on civil liberties.
Jim Cunha, Sun Valley