- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday again rejected asking the National Guard to help quell ongoing unrest in Portland, saying it’s a job that can only be done by trained law enforcement.

Other governors have used the guard to stop rioting, ending it usually in a matter of a day. But in Portland, going on nearly 100 nights of violence, the Democratic governor said she sees a different priority.

“I’m relying on our trained law enforcement,” she said at a press conference.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he’s twice asked her to deploy the National Guard but she rebuffed him. She said there were “multiple reasons.”

President Trump has also repeatedly chided the governor, urging her to make the request for the guard. He pointed to its success in other states.

Ms. Brown said she’s spoken with the governors of those states, but doesn’t see that as a solution for Oregon.

Instead, she said, her vision is to talk out issues of racial justice, asking protesters to convene with her and other community leaders to work out ways to improve policing.

And she defended her practice of praising left-wing protesters while condemning counter-protests from the right, which she called white supremacists. She said they have no place in the conversation.

“My understanding of these organizations is they’re based on hate,” the governor said. “I think it makes it really difficult for us to build what Dr. [Martin Luther] King called a ‘beloved community.’”

Ms. Brown did say violence, no matter the perpetrator, must stop.

But her plans to do that, surging more police, have stumbled after sheriffs in counties neighboring Portland declined to send help, saying they didn’t sense support for law enforcement. One of the sheriffs said the solution in Portland is to prosecute those engaging in violence.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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