A far-right group has staged violent rallies in Portland for almost two years. Texts between the far-right leader and police show months of exchanges along with the divulgence of legal and tactical information. The Texts appear to show a cooperative and even warm relationship.
Reported first by Willamette Week, obtained through a public records request, the texts show months of exchanges between the leader of the violent far-right group and Lt Jeff Niiya, who is part of a division of Portland police who patrols political rallies.
The texts also show Niiya telling the far-right leader where counter protests against the far right group were taking place, as well as with where leftist protests unrelated to the group were taking place. December 23rd 2017, Niiya texted: “Heads up just told 4-5 black Bloch [antifascists] heading your way. One carrying a flag. We will have officers nearby but you may want to think about moving soon if more come.”
Niiya offered the far-right wing leader congratulations on plans to run for Senate, expressed concern for the safety of his family, and wrote: “I want you to know you can trust me. Don’t want to burn that.”
Other messages show the officer appearing to be offering advice about police tactics. Niiya appears to help the violent group avoid the arrest of one of its members, who has been accused of violent acts in Portland. On December 8th 2017, the member was in attendance at a rally while he had an outstanding warrant, Niiya wrote: “Just make sure he doesn’t do anything which may draw our attention. 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.”
While this relationship went on between police and the far-right, on 4th August 2018, Niiya’s division of the portland police fired weapons into a crowd of leftist counter protesters, injuring several, including a woman who was peacefully protesting and who is taking legal action.
The far-right wing group has been involved in alleged acts of violence outside rallies, seemingly with impunity.
Photo: “Patriot Prayer vs Antifa protests. Photo 12 of 14” by Old White Truck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0