Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is disputing a claim that the city’s police did not respond to requests federal workers made for help during a five week long protest outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office building.

The claims were made by Sean Riddell, an attorney for the union representing federal workers at the ICE facility.

In a cease-and-desist letter, Riddell alleged that the mayor’s decision not to order Portland Police to remove protesters from the federal facility created a zone of lawlessness and constituted an unconstitutional policy of refusing to provide police protection to ICE workers on the basis of their employment.  

In a letter, Wheeler called the union’s allegations “inaccurate and inflammatory.”

 He said the city does not have a policy of ignoring calls for police service from ICE employees.

“Portland Police did respond to various calls for service placed by FPS and ICE employees when there were imminent life safety threats,” Wheeler wrote.

Wheeler said that in conversations with city attorneys, Riddell failed to cite any specific examples of 911 calls placed by ICE workers that police didn’t respond to.

During the protest, the Portland Police Bureau provided OPB with a log of calls it had received regarding the encampment.

That log indicates that Portland Police opened investigations into at least three incidents.

On June 21, police received a complaint that a woman in a motorized wheelchair had been assaulted by protesters. 

On June 21, police received a complaint that protesters had thrown items at a vehicle that drove through the protests flying a confederate flag.

And on June 27, protesters reportedly threatened a person’s daughter.
Wheeler requested that Riddell provide further information to support the union’s assertions.