Portland City Council voted 3 to 2 to withdraw from the City’s relationship with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Pursuing a withdraw from the JTTF was one of the prominent campaign promises offered by City Council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
Commissioner Hardesty addressed a rally outside of City Hall prior to the City Council session. In front of the crowd, she spoke of her desire to fulfill her agenda of “One Portland.” One Portland means that everyone’s needs, especially those who have been traditionally marginalized, get equal treatment.
Commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Amanda Fritz also voted to withdraw while Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish voted to remain.
Wheeler said, “As the Police Commissioner, I cannot support a policy that appears to favor politics or ideology over the safety and well being of Portlanders."
The FBI issued a statement:
The FBI's mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. With the withdrawal of the city of Portland from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, that mission doesn't change.
The agents, analysts, language specialists, legal experts and other professional staff of the FBI who work every day to keep our community safe will continue to do so, addressing threats of violence and criminal activity that impact our neighborhoods. To this end, the FBI will continue to partner formally with other members of the JTTF as well as informally with cities and counties across the state to share information and address threats as appropriate.
Robust discussions about law enforcement's role in our society are valuable. Recognizing the fears that exist in the community, we will continue to visit with community leaders and work together to keep Oregon safe while addressing those factors that can drive a wedge between us.
I want the people of Oregon to know that the men and women of the FBI do their work with the utmost respect for and adherence to our shared Constitutional protections that allow us to speak, gather and worship freely no matter who we are or where we come from. I thank them for the work they do every day, and I thank the Portland Police officers who have joined us the past few years for their work in keeping our shared community safe.
-- Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon
The decision to withdraw the Portland Police Bureau from the Joint Terrorism Task Force is a mistake that defies logic. It’s disappointing that in spite of the overwhelming evidence presented of JTTF successes in Oregon and across the nation, a majority of the city council chose a politically-expedient broadside against the federal government over the safety and well-being of their constituents. The law enforcement community’s duty and commitment to ensuring public safety and protecting civil rights will not be deterred by the politics of the moment.
-- Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon