The numbers were confirmed by KATU News who cross-referenced databases from the Multnomah County district attorney, Portland police, and cases being pursued by the U.S. attorney. The information included cases from late May through mid-August.
The Multnomah County database shows that nearly 160 cases out of more than 550 arrests were never prosecuted. After taking office last month, District Attorney Mike Schmidt said his office would not prosecute protest-related cases provided they did not involve “deliberate property damage, theft, or the use or threat of force against another person.”
“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 in announcing the revised policy. “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.”
The policy prompted a fury of criticism from the law enforcement community both within and outside of Portland, which has for months been rocked by protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Outnumbered Overtime,” former Las Vegas police Lt. Randy Sutton said Schmidt’s revised policy “reads more like a political manifesto than it does a criminal justice policy.”
He added: “This is a criminal justice system in free fall.”
Fox News has reached out to the PPB for comment.
Schmidt told reporters during a Sunday press conference that his policy allows his office to work with the Portland Police Bureau “to focus our effort on violent crime.”
“That’s what we’re doing. We’re putting all our resources toward that,” he said.
Federal and local authorities this week arrested three people wanted in connection to separate incidents of assaults or threats against law enforcement officers or city employees related to the ongoing protests in Portland, including one man who said he had planted a bomb inside a local police precinct.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran, Talia Kaplan, and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.