Mayor ignores multiple 911 calls from ICE employees surrounded by violent demonstrators
Portland police refused to respond to at least two 911 emergency calls from ICE employees after violent protesters surrounded their office
The mayor of Portland, Oregon, has been accused of ordering law enforcement to deny help to ICE agents after violent demonstrators stormed their offices. The allegation was made by a union representing agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At least two 911 calls from ICE employees were deliberately ignored by authorities in Portland when an aggressive mob attacked their offices in the city, reported The Daily Caller.
A lawyer representing the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, Sean Riddell, wrote a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanding to meet over the city police's "lax policies". On June 17, in front of the Southwest Portland ICE holding facility, a large group of people calling themselves Occupy ICE PDX began a demonstration in response to the family separations at the border.
According to KGW-TV, the protests grew in intensity over a period of nearly 40 days to the point that the offices were shut down for two weeks due to safety concerns.
Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner of the city, said he would not involve his bureau leading to the federal facility being shut down. "I want to be very clear that I do not want the Portland police to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency, that I believe is on the wrong track," he wrote. "If they are looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place."
On the other hand, Riddell says Wheeler created "a zone of terror and lawlessness" that is putting ICE employees' lives at risk. He has also "threatened" to take the mayor to court.
"The Council and I assert that your current policy forbidding Portland law enforcement agencies from assisting employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency ("ICE") who request law enforcement assistance while at or away from work is a violation of the United States Constitution's Equal Protection Clause," Riddell wrote.
I drove by the demonstration yesterday, it seemed to be very peaceful and I was pleased to see that. I want to be very clear I do not want the @PortlandPolice to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track (2/4)— Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) June 20, 2018
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees citizens equal protection under the law, which Ridell says the mayor has violated.
"Your policy of not providing police services to employees of ICE creates a class of people based upon their source of income," the letter read.
The lawyer noted that Wheeler was always opposed to the immigration crackdown conducted by Trump's administration. "We fail to see why targeting the employees of ICE and leaving them vulnerable to violence, harassment, and even death furthers a legitimate government interest," he wrote.
If they are looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place. -TW (4/4)— Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) June 20, 2018
Wheeler has repeatedly tweeted right from the start of the protest that ICE agents would not get any assistance from city law enforcement if the agency intended to evict the protestors. It must be noted that the mayor is a Trump critic in a state that implemented the first statewide sanctuary protections for illegal immigrants.
According to The Oregonian, Wheeler's legal counsel is currently reviewing the letter and has no further comment on the issue.
However, as the demonstrations stretched from weeks to over a month, Wheeler warned protestors to disperse before they were removed by authorities. It was only then that the protestors conceded.
Portland drew national attention last month when videos of violent skirmishes between right-wing activists are radical far-left outfits such as anti-fa emerged on social media.
The liberal city has come to be known for its near-weekly protests, with downtown parks becoming popular gathering places for dissent.