Military and Police

Sleaze Continues to Ooze from the Portland Mayor’s Office

The neo-left’s arrogance knows no bounds. And an example of this arrogance is found in abundance in the person of—let’s see…how did I describe Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler in a previous article? Oh, right, “smarmy, unctuous, virtue-signaling, and pompous.” Those are pretty good. I’ll stay with those, for now. Although a myriad of other odious adjectives could do as well.

As a reminder, in the previous article, I told you how Hizzoner would not allow Portland police officers to respond to an emergency call for assistance from ICE personel with radical Occupy Ice and Antifa demonstrators at Portland’s ICE facility. I don’t think the mayor has ever met a criminal illegal alien he wanted deported.

Mayor Wheeler also serves as the Portland Police Bureau’s police commissioner. So, what’s this charming fellow up to this time? Seems he’s got a problem with a police officer doing his job. He also seems to be generally opposed to cops interacting positively with political groups he opposes. All the while he has shown deference to leftist groups terrorizing his city.

According to OregonLive.com, Mayor Wheeler doesn’t like that Portland Police Lieutenant Jeffrey Niiya corresponded by text message with the right-wing group Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. But what if that’s a part of the lieutenant’s job?

The union wrote, “during his two years as Portland police commissioner he [Wheeler] has failed to develop an understanding of even basic police work.” Lt. Niiya, a 22-year veteran, is the supervisor of the bureau’s Rapid Response Team (RRT). The RRT also handles crowd control and serves as the Police Bureau’s liaison to protest organizers. As a part of Lt. Niiya’s duties, “he was to establish a line of communication with protest leaders.”

Well, Gibson, with whom Mayor Wheeler criticized Lt. Niiya for communicating, is a protest leader. Lt. Niiya reportedly also attempted to establish lines of communication with counter-protest groups but with less success. In fact, members of Antifa accused one member who was in contact with Lt. Niiya of being a police informant. The police chief has suspended Lt. Niiya from his RRT duties while the bureau investigates his actions.

Wheeler apparently has no problems with leftist groups such as Black Lives Matter or Antifa. But he’s upset by Lt. Niiya’s apparent positive relationship with the right’s Patriot Prayer. Ironically, Joey Gibson, rather than causing or inciting violence, has been the victim of assaults committed by leftist counter-protesters who show up to oppose Patriot Prayer’s First Amendment right to demonstrate, not the other way around.

Mayor Wheeler has been public in his criticism of Lt. Niiya, which the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association (PPCOA) says violates bureau policies. The PPCOA filed a grievance against Mayor Wheeler for failing to reprimand Lt. Niiya in a way “least likely to embarrass” the officer.

The union also filed a complaint against the mayor for workplace harassment. They said the mayor and two city commissioner’s comments were “derogatory and hostile and damaged Lieutenant Niiya’s professional work environment.”

At the heart of this problem is Mayor Wheeler’s obvious affection for neo-leftist radicals and his pathetic antipathy for law enforcement officers. Mayor Wheeler has demonstrated he will obstruct local law enforcement’s attempts to assist immigration authorities or enforce laws against violent left-wing groups. But he opposes a supervisor’s job-related contact with a leader of a peaceful right-wing group. Mayor Wheeler consistently chooses neo-leftist radicals who wreck the community over cops like Lt. Niiya who protect it.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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