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PORTLAND, Ore.—Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, provided the below statement on the law enforcement response to the August 17, 2019 demonstration in Downtown Portland.
“As a prosecutor, I’ve had the honor of being involved in law enforcement in Oregon for nearly 30 years. Much of this time has been working with agencies in the Portland Metropolitan Area, and, as a federal prosecutor for the last 19 years, partners throughout the state.
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of watching more than 700 local, state and federal law enforcement, fire and medical professionals work tirelessly to protect the City of Portland. These dedicated, unselfish, and non-political public servants worked together to gather the resources needed to protect our community and, in the process, change the narrative of public safety in this city.
Law enforcement does not and cannot take sides in politically-charged public discourse. This weekend’s response effort was consistent with what I’ve observed throughout my career: public servants working together to ensure public safety and help others, irrespective of politics.
In an era where it’s become all too common for politicians and pundits to question the intentions of law enforcement, I hope this weekend’s police response will serve as a definitive counterpoint.
Please join me in thanking the men and women in uniform who gave up their time with family and friends to protect our community and allow people to exercise their rights here in Portland.
To our law enforcement partners throughout Oregon—the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice appreciate you and have your back.”