- The Washington Times - Friday, March 1, 2019

A new video has surfaced that apparently shows a Portland, Oregon, law enforcement officer striking a deal with a far-right group leader to prevent arresting his members last June.

The video is cut from Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson during a violent protest on June 3, 2018, between his group and Antifa protesters. The video depicts the Patriot Prayer group striking a deal with a police officer working under Lt. Jeff Niiya, who authorized the agreement.

“I just talked to Jeff Niiya, and he asked me to tell you that he has probable cause to arrest a couple of the guys here,” the officer says in the video released by the Guardian. “They’ve arrested the other side, so it’s not singling you guys out.

“But it’s time to go. If you guys can go home, there won’t be any arrests.”

Mr. Gibson then asks who will be arrested, and the officer gestures to a group of men in Patriot Prayer T-shirts, including a man named Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, who wasn’t one of four people arrested despite being seeing fighting with counter-protesters.

Zakir Khan, spokesman for the Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said he was “troubled to see” the use of “discretionary” policing.

“Undoubtedly, when officers are given this much latitude in a historically racist city and state, that latitude will lead to biased outcomes. Portlanders of color have fallen victim to this system for decades prior to these recent events,” Khan added.

Mr. Niiya has come under fire for having a friendly relationship with Mr. Gibson, stepping aside after text exchanges leaked of Mr. Niiya saying he would not arrest Mr. Toese, despite having a warrant out for his arrest.

“Just make sure he doesn’t do anything which may draw our attention,” Mr. Niiya texted. “If he still has the warrant in the system (I don’t run you guys so I don’t personally know) the officers could arrest him. I don’t see a need to arrest on the warrant unless there is a reason.”

Mr. Gibson denies he received separate treatment and added that Niiya and him were not close, saying Niiya was “consistent with every single officer I have been in communication with all over the country.”

“He is always respectful. His main thing is de-escalation, that’s what he was always talking about,” he said. “There are several text messages where he is begging me to leave Portland.”

Portland police spokeswoman Kristina Jones said, “There is an open investigation, so I am unable to comment on pending personnel matters. I have forwarded the video to our investigators for review.”

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