New Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has demonstrated in recent days that he is worse that the woman he replaced. Former Portland Police Chief Jami Resch stepped down on June 8, 2020 shortly after the George Floyd protests began amid criticism for her handling of the protest. Under Resch's watch the Portland Police were banned from using tear gas unless they face a "serious and immediate threat to life safety" per Ted Wheeler's order. Last night, police violence in Portland reached unconscionable levels. Not only was tear gas used to disperse crowds of non-violent demonstrators that did not pose an immediate threat to life safety, members of the press were assaulted and arrested just for covering the protests. Such actions do more to chill free speech by making people afraid to film protests than they do to uphold the rule of law.
KBOO reporter Lesley McLam's arrest was caught on video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-H1Sr-r_tE) where you can see police removing her press badge and taking her into custody while she struggles to deal with the symptoms of being gassed. Fellow journalists Cory Elia and Justin Yau were also arrested. What will they do now? Will they be banned from protests as conditions of their release because while charges are pending the court considers such conduct related to their alleged criminal conduct? Hopefully District Attorney Rod Underhill has enough sense not to prosecute.
DISCLAIMER: The following is not being written with the goal of sounding racist at all, but we feel it raises an important question:
Is this an example of the new "black privilege" we have been hearing so much about from the alt-right? Normally we would not entertain the concept, but when replacing a white woman with a black man as police chief leads to an increase in excessive force being used against Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters one cannot help but wonder if identify politics have emboldened Lovell . After all you can't call Lovell racist for allowing his officers to get away with abusing those of his own race and those that support them. Had Chief Resch not resigned and did the same thing she would most definitely be called a racist police chief overseeing a racist police department. We believe that the fear of looking racist can be an effective deterrent for white police commanders, but then we also run the risk of being seen as implying that white officers would make better chiefs because of that deterrent which of course is ridiculous. We think that maybe it is time to focus more on police violence against all races so that identity politics plays less of a role. Saying names at protests like "Robert LaVoy Finicum," "Hannah Fizer," and those poor kids that burned to death at Waco alongside those of black victims would be a good start. The problem here is not so much racism as it is how police treat the public in general. Black people are just more familiar with the problem because the impact it has on them is disproportional.
In the video below you can see one dramatization of the history of black cops having an impact on the black community that is just as bad or even worse than that of white cop.
Remember that fascism is a form of government that has been used by oppressive regimes of every ethnicity all over the world, so although it is best known for the Nazis and white supremacy there are many examples of non-white fascists like Lovell. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was an Arab whose Ba'ath Party was modeled after the Nazi Party, Emperor Hirohito of Japan was Asian, and Idi Amin of Uganda was black.