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ACLU Tells Portland Police To Stop Using Riot Gear

ACLU Tells Portland Police To Stop Using Riot Gear

Photo Courtesy:  KOIN

The ACLU of Oregon says it’s time for Portland police to stop showing up in riot gear in response to anti-Trump protests.

“When police show up in riot gear, it has the effect of escalating the situation,” said ACLU of Oregon spokeswoman Sarah Armstrong. “We think police policies should aim for de-escalation.”

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Portland police arrested 13 people Monday during a “Not My President” rally in front of the Federal Building on Southwest Third and Columbia Street. Armstrong said officers who showed up in riot gear, as they have for all of the anti-Trump protests, used riot control tactics in making the arrests.

“Portland has a long history of civil disobedience,” said Armstrong. “What seems to be different is the swiftness and violence of the police response.”

Many observers have noticed a change in the tolerance level of police for protesters blocking streets under Mayor Ted Wheeler. Protests taking place in 2016, before Wheeler took office, included hours of blocked streets.

In a statement released Tuesday, Wheeler said he and the police chief will meet with members of the community to discuss how to best relieve tensions between protesters and police.

Several Portlanders have complained that officers pushed their way into a crowd of peaceful protesters standing on the sidewalk to make the arrests Monday.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said that once officers decide to arrest someone, it’s too late to retreat to the sidewalk.

“The sidewalk is not ‘home base,’” said Simpson.

As for the request by the ACLU that officers refrain from wearing riot gear to protest, Simpson said the gear is for their own protection. During an Inauguration Day protest on Jan. 20, protesters threw eggs, rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers.


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  1. Marilyn Stanley McKellips

    waa waa waa. ACLU. Shame on them. Could have done much good had the not taken the side of the criminals. What would they have said if many had done this if Hillary was elected. Perhaps Portland should quit demonstrating and clean up Portland? Does anyone have a brain to think about the relationship of cops being killed and what they wear to protests? Hey Obama you sure fixed things.

  2. Andy

    We seen videos of that “peaceful” crowd and are very proud of the way Portland PD handled the situation. If you don’t want to see cops in riot gear, urge the rioters to return to peaceful ways and stay off the streets where they are causing the problems.

    Incidentally, I have been selected to oversee the “Jump for Trump” protest tomorrow in our county. I will be recording the names of those who wish to participate so that the local coroners offices will be able to establish the identifies of the splotches picked up from the streets and take them to the local trash dump in their areas of residence. Please don’t forget to sign up prior to your jump. As an added bonus, those who wish to do swan dives will be given priority in scraping up the leftovers. Thank you and we welcome your participation, Andy

  3. Mike Klarman

    These ACLU people are total POS. You couldn’t pay me to live in Portland. We should go back to the way “protests” were broken up 30-40 years ago. I’m sure there would be fewer of them.

  4. david ratay

    Don’t like cops in riot gear? Then stop rioting you stupid hippies!

  5. Heyna_or_no

    LOL….tell the ACLU to go urinate up a rain pipe! Who the hell do they think they are telling the police what to wear!

  6. Sue Rawson

    more bs… your days are numbered with your ignorant protests… TRUMP IS OUR PRESIDENT… and your stupid logic will be quashed… we are sick of your mindless jabbering and police are there to protect the innocent and themselves from your pathetic bs… try on some big girl panties and see if you can act like an American instead of a raving lunatic for one i your life… or get a lobotomy, you’re no good to this nation the way you are

    • ahaz

      Sue…You are sadly mistaken if you believe police are there to protect you. A police officer’s only obligation is to enforce the law. They are no legal obligation to protect individual citizens and have been granted legal authority to utilize force and deadly force against any person they deem a threat to the community and especially themselves. The SCOTUS has said this over again. Having said that, Police are an important and needed part of our society. The ACLU and other like minded organizations want to see better relations between communities and LE. The militarization of police forces have eroded the trust that once existed.

      • Sue Rawson

        fortunately, your opinion matters not to me… as the mother of a police officer, I know YOU are sadly mistaken…. the key words are. .. deadly threat… as far as I’m concerned they show too much restraint against the scumbags in our society.

      • mtarte

        ahaz, can you tell me how the police are “militarized?”

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