PORTLAND, Ore. — The union representing Portland Police commanding officers says there’s nothing inappropriate about the text messages between a lieutenant and the leader of right-wing group Patriot Prayer.
The Portland Police Commanding Officers Association on Tuesday filed a complaint against Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Jo Ann Hardesty. The complaint alleges all three city leaders made public comments that constitute workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
The group has been involved in several violent clashes in Portland with left-wing anti-fascists since Pres. Donald Trump was elected. The text messages show Niiya and Gibson had a friendly rapport and discussed Gibson’s protest plans.
Wheeler called the texts “disturbing” and demanded an independent investigation.
But Lt. Craig Morgan of the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association says Lt. Niiya was doing his job to keep the community safer.
“There were active attempts to reach out to folks on the left as well. Generally, we weren’t as successful, so there’s this perception we’re communicating more with one side than the other," Morgan said. "But that’s not due to lack of effort on our part. It’s simply due to a lack of success at establishing that relationship.”
Lt. Morgan says he’s upset with the rush to judgement by the mayor and commissioners.
Wheeler said he doesn’t believe the union’s complaint has any merit.