Apr 15, 2023Liked by Nancy Rommelmann

I’m looking forward to your long form article on your latest visit to Portland.

Although I realize all your Reason and Substack and other dispatches from Portland are available online, I’d really like to see them all combined published as a book, because I like the feel of a book in my hands and enjoy turning pages as I read.

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I like that idea as well. I'm old school and love reading a physical book with pages to turn.

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You people voted for that trash mayor and the pile of shit governor.

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When I think about the Portland riots of 2020-21 (a substantial portion of which were anarchist direct actions with no direct connection to BLM or to the presence of right-wing groups in Portland), I am enraged once again by the arrogance and negligence of the Wokeist Multnomah County D.A., Mike Schmidt, in deciding early on not to enforce the laws most commonly broken by rioters during riots, including resisting arrest. My blood boils when I think back on a newspaper story that described a group of anarchists forming a human chain to free one of their number from the grip of an arresting police officer during a riot.

A close reading of The Oregonian will show that Schmidt's decision was initially a pragmatic response to a backlog he inherited from his predecessor before the riots were even a gleam in the eyes of badass upper middle class child anarchists at Reed. https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2021/04/23/portland-mayor-wants-reed-college-to-expel-student-if-hes-convicted-of-smashing-downtown-windows/

Schmidt's unforgivable failure and act of official malpractice was allowing his policy of presumptive non-prosecution to remain in place after the first riot following George Floyd's death.

This is how the Washington Examiner covered Schmidt's policy decision in an August 2020 story:


A new policy from Multnomah County’s top prosecutor stated that only rioters involved in "deliberate property damage, theft, or force against another person or threats of force" could face charges.

Schmidt said 550 protest-related cases have been referred to his office since late May and that only 133 were felony referrals.

“The protesters are angry ... and deeply frustrated with what they perceive to be structural inequities in our basic social fabric. And this frustration can escalate to levels that violate the law," Schmidt said. “This policy acknowledges that centuries of disparate treatment of our black and brown communities have left deep wounds and that the healing process will not be easy or quick.”

Schmidt added that prosecuting cases "relating solely to protest activities,” such as disorderly conduct or criminal trespass, "have a weak nexus to further criminality."



Elsewhere, Schmidt is on record as saying he did not believe people should have such crimes on their records.

I have long maintained that Schmidt abused whatever prosecutorial discretion he might have had when he permitted untold thousands of crimes to go unprosecuted. In fact, Schmidt's act was a violation of the separation of powers disguised as prosecutorial discretion. As the district attorney, Schmidt was responsible only for enforcing laws enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor. Opting not to enforce an entire category of crimes over a period of many months was a de-facto repeal of those laws on Schmidt's part. A district attorney has many powers; repealing or nullifying laws is not one of them.

Schmidt has since had many opportunities to go to before the Oregon legislature to have lawmakers ratify his decision by repealing or amending the laws in question. By not doing so, Schmidt has created a crisis in law enforcement in Multnomah County.

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