Portland, OR (KPTV) — The nightly protests in Portland are approaching nearly 50 days, and since the beginning, police have worked the marches, protests and violent riots.
Now, a letter claiming to be from a police officer’s spouse has been sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners. The letter said more than 100 other police spouses agreed with the message.
The author of the letter, which was not signed, called the treatment of Portland Police “disgraceful.”
It also said “The Families of Portland Police are calling on city leadership to allow PPB to do their jobs and restore order to the city. City leadership should also condemn the continued abuse and extensive harm against Portland Police officers.”
The letter continues saying that officers lives have been endangered as fireworks, rocks, bricks and other objects have been thrown at them by protesters.
The spouse said, “The City of Portland has tied the hands of officers and is not allowing them to protect themselves. City leadership is forcing officers to endure predictable and repeated verbal, emotional and physical abuse … The complete lack of respect, dehumanization and gross mischaracterization of the men and women behind the badge is disgraceful.”
The bureau itself is highlighting what it’s like for black officers to stand the lines during protesting and rioting. In a podcast shared online Tuesday, Officer Jakhary Jackson talked about his experience.
“It’s been very eye-opening,” Johnson said. “It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest and you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd. And you have white people screaming at black officers, you have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.”
Jackson said he’s had explosives thrown at him, full beer cans and frozen water bottles – he surmises that most of the rioters are white people with few if any ties to the city.
“I’m cool with those who feel like they want to help a movement but then when you go to a gentrified community and one of the first pictures I saw — one of the businesses that was looted was a black-owned business.”
The letter from the police spouse also called out Commissioner Joann Hardesty –saying her anti-police rhetoric is vilifying police officers and creating a hostile work environment.
Hardesty has been the loudest voice calling for police reform in the city commission.
Hardesty’s office sent Fox 12 a statement in response to the letter. It says in part:
“I can empathize with anyone who worries for the well being for their loved ones… As public employees we’re all called to serve during the best and hardest of times, and we all have different experiences based on our chosen roles. I appreciate this individual for taking the time to share their perspective with me.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler also shared this statement in response to the letter:
“Everyone in our community should have a basic expectation of safety, and we are working to keep City staff and demonstrators safe each night.”
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