The president of the Portland Police Association in Oregon issued a scathing rebuke of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s response to the city’s homelessness crisis, saying the city has become a feces-covered “cesspool” under the Democrat’s watch.
“Our City has become a cesspool,” PPA President Daryl Turner wrote in a statement posted on Facebook Monday. “Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets.
“Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City,” he said. “Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.”
His comments came after the mayor told The Oregonian that he wanted an investigation into the city’s arrest data after an analysis by the newspaper found 52 percent of arrests made last year involved a homeless person, while the homeless represent only roughly 3 percent of the city’s population.
“The real question here is, ‘Is there some sort of profiling or implicit bias?’” Mr. Wheeler said last week. “From my perspective, that’s the crux of the situation. The police should be focused on policing criminal activity, and that’s sort of the beginning, the middle and the end of it for me.”
Mr. Turner rejected the suggestion of systemic bias and said the city’s homelessness problem is a direct result of the mayor’s failed policies.
“Will investigating our officers result in more housing for the homeless? Will it provide more mental health or addiction resources for those in need? Will it resolve the livability issues that Portland residents and business owners face daily? Of course not! It’s more of the same from the Mayor; failed policies and blaming others for his failures,” the police union president said in his statement. “The fact that our officers have become the scapegoats for Mayor Wheeler’s failed public policies aimed at solving our homelessness crisis is insulting.”
In response to Mr. Turner’s criticism, Mr. Wheeler said Monday, “We are reviewing the message from PPA and will continue this conversation with Daryl Turner, and the many other groups and individuals who are rightly interested in these issues,” a local Fox affiliate reported.