(City Journal) -- Portland police officer Jeff Niiya has been accused of “collusion with right-wing extremist” after exchanging text messages with Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, a group of right-wing provocateurs who mostly demonstrate at leftist gatherings. It’s standard practice for police to communicate with leaders of fringe groups on the right and left, but Niiya’s texts appear to have been overly friendly.
Portland progressives have seized the opportunity to tar the city’s entire police force as sympathetic with right-wing groups at the expense of liberals and leftists. City commissioner and liberal firebrand Jo Ann Hardesty released a statement claiming, without evidence, that “this story simply confirms that . . . there are members of the Portland police force who work in collusion with right-wing extremists.” Progressive activists massed outside City Hall days later, demanding the ouster of police chief Danielle Outlaw.
Anti-police sentiment is pervasive in progressive-leaning cities across the United States. Advocates against “overpolicing” put pressure on cops to take a hands-off approach to public order.
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