by WorldTribune Staff, October 9, 2020
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt has dropped or rejected most criminal cases related to the ongoing rioting in Portland, according to data released by the DA’s office.
On Wednesday, Schmidt’s office released a new statistical dashboard that provides data on “protest-related cases referred to his office by law enforcement for prosecutorial review and potential issuing.”
Schmidt was elected with the support of the Real Justice PAC, co-founded by Shaun King, has supported 29 head prosecutors and state attorneys general since 2018, including several who were also backed by leftist billionaire George Soros.
Between May 29 and Oct. 5, 974 riot-related cases were brought before Schmidt’s office by Portland police.
Nearly 70 percent of these cases were dropped, including 543 rejected in the “interest of justice,” 44 cases due to “insufficient evidence” and 12 cases due to “a legal impediment.” Another 67 cases are “pending investigative follow-up from law enforcement.”
A majority of cases involve suspects who are white and male, constituting 77 and 67 percent respectively, the report noted. And 83 percent of the suspects are young adults aged 18–35. Juvenile data is not included. Many of the cases involve repeat offenders though the number wasn’t published in the DA office’s report.
Of the 39 cases involving an allegation of a rioter assaulting a public safety officer, prosecutors are thus far charging only seven of them, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have asked police to do investigative follow-up in another 18 cases.
Schmidt said that his office would not prosecute for the following crimes:
• Interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer
• Disorderly conduct in the second degree
• Criminal trespass in the first and second degree
• Escape in the third degree
• Riot (unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list)
Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner reacted to Schmidt’s decision by saying, “I am disgusted that our city has come to this.”
In September, the U.S. Marshals Service deputized 56 Portland police officers and 22 Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies to respond to potential violence under the orders of Oregon Democrat Gov. Kate Brown after she declared a state of emergency. The federally deputized officers are effectively circumventing the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, who aren’t prosecuting rioters.
The deputizations remain in effect through December.