(UnitedVoice.com) – Portland’s district attorney faces significant backlash after insulating protesters from prosecution after weeks of tumultuous unrest and violence raged the city.
Mike Schmidt, the newly-seated district attorney for Multnomah County, announced on August 11, that his office would not prosecute cases for crimes not involving “deliberate property damage, theft, or the use or threat of force.”
His directive went on to expressly exclude the following crimes:
- Criminal trespass
- Disorderly conduct
- Class B misdemeanor harassment
- Interference with a police officer
Schmidt’s announcement explained that his office acknowledged “the depth of emotion” that motivated Portland’s protests. Continuing, he wrote that leveraging the might of the criminal justice system against protesters “demanding to be heard” would “undermine public safety, not promote it.”
Speaking to reporters, Schmidt stated the policy was retroactive for individuals arrested for protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s death by a Minneapolis police officer. More than 500 cases have been referred to Schmidt’s office for possible prosecution, and most of them are likely to be rejected due to his decision.
Portland Attorney Speaks Out
Pushback to Schmidt’s decision not to prosecute offenders was swift. Portland attorney James Buchal shredded the new DA for defying the “fundamental principles of equal protection of the laws.”
Buchal told Fox and Friends that Schmidt “discarded centuries of common sense” about criminal prosecution and its deterrent effect on future crimes.
Following up on those remarks, Fox host Jillian Mele asked about the impact of the district attorney’s decision.
Buchal responded, “It sets the precedent…” that if people promote the “preferred message of the Democratic Party machines,” they’re insulated from prosecution. Continuing, he noted others in Portland had been prosecuted for doing nothing except holding up a cell phone in front of protesters and saying, “these are Antifa people, and they’re rioting.”
And perhaps, this kind of lawless conduct on the part of city officials is precisely why President Trump is cracking down on Democratically-led cities who are letting things get out of hand.
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