Oregon

Protests, Tear Gas, and Arrests As Portland Approves New Police Union Contract

After the mayor closed off city council vote to the public, chaos ensued.

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Metal Gear: Portlandia
Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/Newscom

The City Council of Portland (Ore.) approved a new contract for the city's police union in a meeting that was described by The Oregonian as having taken place following "unprecedented maneuvering within City Hall to conduct the vote in [a] meeting room cordoned off from protesters."

Even though the current contract was not due to expire until June 2017, and Portland has already elected a new mayor who will take office on January 1, Mayor Charlie Hales insisted on negotiating and pushing for a vote to implement a new police contract before his term expired. Hales insisted a new contract with pay increases of over $10,000 a year for new officers and other union-favorable terms was necessary to draw new recruits to replace a number of retiring officers.

As I noted yesterday for Reason, the new contract has met with significant pushback from the community, in particular over new rules regarding the use of body cameras and the fact that the city's SWAT team will be exempt from such rules.

After the Council voted 3-1 to make the new contract official, protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter and Don't Shoot Portland attempted to storm City Hall. Some threw "projectiles" at officers, according to Portland police officials. Ultimately, 10 protesters were arrested, but not before police used pepper spray and batons to subdue the most aggressive of the crowd. Police have also indicated they will be reviewing video footage of the protests and may make more arrests.

Video of the City Hall melee via The Oregonian below:

Once the protests had been confined to the sidewalks outside City Hall, police threatened to arrest anyone who blocked traffic or stood in the street. At one point, a group of riot gear-clad officers jumped off a rolling SUV to pull a protester out of the crowd and arrest him.

Video via KATU News below:

The Oregonian notes:

Protesters also claimed a victory of sorts, arguing the City Council's closed-door vote — broadcast online, over television screens and remotely in the City Council chambers — may help them file a complaint over a violation of public meeting laws.

"They wouldn't have gotten this passed if they did it in a democratic way," said Gregory McKelvey, spokesman for protest group Don't Shoot Portland.

More protests against the new police union contract are reportedly expected to take place this Friday.

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41 responses to “Protests, Tear Gas, and Arrests As Portland Approves New Police Union Contract

  1. …the new contract has met with significant pushback from the community, in particular over new rules regarding the use of body cameras and the fact that the city’s SWAT team will be exempt from such rules.

    And what did that pushback get them?

    1. Beaten and arrested, if they’re lucky.

    2. I am surprised people were aware enough to protest in the first place. Weren’t there mocachinos and three wheeled bicicletas to maneuver?

      1. Wouldn’t those be tricicletas?

          1. * SLAP

    3. Well, if you can’t watch the videos and see a raw demonstration of what the pushback gets and what exactly the cops are doing to earn that new contract, there’s no hope trying to explain it to you. You think pimping ain’t easy? Try thugging on the taxpayer dime, and then convincing the taxpayers you’re thugging on that you deserve a raise. That’s some teacher’s union-level trolling right there, convincing the taxpayers that success is best incentivized by granting raises and budget increases for epic failure.

      1. A cop’s love isn’t like a square’s love.

        1. It’s a special kind of love.

      2. Try thugging on the taxpayer dime, and then convincing the taxpayers you’re thugging on that you deserve a raise.

        Can’t be all that difficult, the protesters do most of the heavy lifting. The cops just look stony-faced for the cameras.

  2. Portland? They should call it Portlyland. Seldom do you see video of protesters equally as rotund as the law enforcement professionals facing off against them. What’s going on with regard to health in the pacific northwest?

    My suggestion is that protestors should all dress in suits and ties. Police would be dumbstruck.

    1. Haven’t ever been there, but my friend complained about visiting Seattle and being given death glares from yuppies, presumably because she’s morbidly obese, smokes, and wears flats rather than birkenstocks.

        1. I’d imagine. Clincher: she studies virulent diseases for a living.

          1. So, she’s into bugging you all the time!

      1. They probably thought she was law enforcement.

    2. lots of beer

  3. I just can’t believe that something like this could happen in such a Progressive city…

    1. That was my first thought. Usually when you think of anti-government anti-union kooks you think of…us.

    2. It would funny, if our police state was not so sad. I mean these protesters want more Nanny-State to further their agendas. When I say more government, I mean as much government as your money will buy. Then when they are opposed to something then they actually wonder why there are so many militarized police to kick them off public sidewalks. They are just too stupid to get it.

  4. More protests against the new police union contract are reportedly expected to take place this Friday.

    They are gearing up by greasing their unicycles, waxing their beards and chiseling protest chants into discarded headboards.

  5. We need GI Joe, at the 1:27 mark of the first video there is clear proof this protest was organized by Cobra.

    1. A real American hero!

  6. That’s the spirit, respond to police abuse with rioting, that’s sure to reassure people about your movement’s legitimacy. /sarc

    And it will make things so much easier for your nonviolent counterparts who criticize police abuse. /sarc

    I was intrigued by this:

    “Police have also indicated they will be reviewing video footage of the protests and may make more arrests.”

    I wonder if the cameras which were supposed to be recording the protests will turn out to have been turned off? Somehow, that never happens with video the cops *want* to record.

    1. ALL WE HAVE TO LOSE ARE OUR CHAINS PUBLIC SYMPATHY.

  7. “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.” – F.D.R. 1937

    Well, I have to hand it to the Progressives, they are at least consistent in their inconsistency.

    1. *totally borrowing that

  8. Does this count as lefty cannibalism? I want to sympathize with the protesters, but… Portland.

    1. Maybe its something in the water.Oh that’s right, they don’t fluoridate their water.

  9. We continue to get the government we deserve.

    1. These progtards will continue to want that government tomorrow and we dissidents will get what we deserve.

      I think we deserve Liberty but I am not hopeful.

  10. “It’s frustratingly difficult to argue in favor of police reform when the protesters are a bunch of hipster doofuses.”

    1. No kidding. It is also difficult to argue in favor of police reform when you know the protestors are not just hipster doofuses but leftist assholes who would love and support police abuse if were directed at the right people.

      1. +1 Wisconsin John Doe investigation.

  11. Welcome to the zany Northwest! People here are so much weirder than where I grew up. All I know is their protest totally screwed up public transit, which is a big deal around here (and how get here from across the river every day, traffic sux!). I’ll be sure to work from home on Friday to avoid the spectacle.

  12. Ahhhh, a completely depressing fucking Orwellian response by the humble, honest, self-sacrificing public servants.

    Jesus Christ – it’s not even about black lives or cameras or unions, it’s about taking the boot off our neck and putting the authoritarian thugs in place or in jail.

    These guys are secretly voting themselves lavish raises and lowered accountability, AND getting a fun consequence-free perk of beating up any citizens who’re rightfully protesting it in a public building.

  13. they would not have got this passed if they would have let us beat them up

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