Siege Notes, Portland July 16: Wolf Whistle

The humorously named Chad Wolf, acting head of Homeland Security, is in Portland and not meeting with state or local leaders after having declared Portland under siege and local government derelict in its duty:

“The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city. Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.

 “A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice – to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day.

“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists,” said Acting Secretary Chad Wolf

It’s not clear who exactly he’s meeting with. Presumably the cops and federal law enforcement. Oregon Democratic leaders are determined to gut out the strategy of acquiescence and play this against Trump.

Mayor Ted Wheeler says he’s neither received nor would accept an invite.

Governor Kate Brown:

I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way. — Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 16, 2020 

 One local lawman refused to meet with Wolf and toed the “politicization” line (apparently for Wolf’s “under siege” comments):

Senators Wyden

A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police. Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden)

and Merkley:

Congressman Blumenauer:

Democratic leadership is united.

Around 7 AM a motley collection of antifa sympathizers and homeless jeered police who’d set up a line around the park blocks adjacent to the target buildings, and now there’s fencing encompassing all the real estate antifa had owned after dark since the siege began.

Reports are they swept through at 5 AM and made nine arrests. I saw them make one later. Later in the day handfuls of cops rested on benches within the fence. The crowd lined up along the street bordering the zone was small and very rough. Antifa Twitter activity suggests they’re rallying at a park elsewhere tonight, but that could be a head fake. I can’t imagine they won’t challenge the cops in their new pen tonight.

Meanwhile Portland is experiencing the same release of criminal violence outside of its siege as other affected cities, and here too it’s a total mystery [boldface added]:

Beyond the protests, it was a violent few days in Portland. 

Statistics show there has been a 380% increase in shootings over the past year and this weekend saw a number of homicides. 

“Each of these numbers represents a human being, we must not lose sight of that,” Chief Lovell said. “5 victims of homicide within 24 hours is staggering.” 

Lovell said the bureau does not know what is causing the uptick in violence.

And nobody in the local media is interested in asking the obvious question.

Nadezhda Volobuev, 61, died Friday in Southeast Portland. Her daughter, 29-year-old Angelina Volobuev, is charged with second-degree murder. Police responded to the 13600 block of SE Powell Boulevard shortly after 9 p.m. Friday after witnesses reported hearing 7 to 10 shots fired. Julian Heredia, 19, died.  

An 18-year-old girl was killed in a shooting in the area of SE 84th Avenue around 1 p.m. Friday. Shai-India Harris died at the scene.  

Despite rumors, Portland police don’t believe racism was a motive in a shooting that left a man dead in the 8300 block of SW Barbur around 8:15 p.m.Thursday. Detectives interviewed multiple witnesses to this crime and “there is no information at this time to support race was a factor that played a role in this case.”

A local black activist tried to gin up a hoax on Twitter that white supremacists executed a black man outside a strip club. Distraught relatives of the deceased came out of the woodwork. There was never any question the shooter was another black guy, and the motive is allegedly a coke deal gone wrong. The suspect is fair, probably bi-racial, and I genuinely think the would-be hoaxer thought he might elicit what they used to call a “light skin pass” into whiteness. No local press interest in a state Democratic Black Caucus aide trying to pull a fast one, of course.

A man was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing a person in Southeast Portland’s Buckman neighborhood around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. 

And though no one died in these incidents, bullets were fired: 

A fusillade of bullets hit 2 vehicles in Southeast Portland around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, injuring a 10-year-old girl who was in one car with her mother and 3 other children. More than 25 bullet casings were found on the street in the 13400 block of SE Harold Street. 

Gunshots rang out around 1:15 a.m.Thursday after demonstrators in downtown Portland and the driver of a car going the wrong way confronted each other, police said.As the driver and the demonstrators faced off, “several shots were fired from the vehicle as it drove away,” police said.

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