ICE and some of its employees are preparing a lawsuit against the City of Portland after Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the police to stand down during the protests against ICE. ICE employees called the police, who failed to show up because of the mayor’s order.
One ICE employee called police when the protesters tried to keep the employee from leaving. The protesters followed the employee as he picked up his daughter at summer camp and later showed up at his apartment complex. He called the police again, but no one showed up. The lawsuit alleges dereliction of duty and violating the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing equal protection under the law.
The union that represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers say on at least two occasions last month two federal ICE employees called the Portland police while being harassed by protesters—but cops did not show up, because the Portland mayor had ordered them not to intervene.
Members of the union, called the National ICE Council, sent Mayor Ted Wheeler a cease and desist letter today demanding he requires Portland police to assist federal agents if called upon.
The letter, filed this morning by the union on behalf of employees working in Portland’s ICE office, says that Wheeler’s decision to order Portland police not to assist federal agents was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, it cites the 14th Amendment, which says the government cannot deny any person equal protection under the law.
A local ICE officer, who spoke to WW only on the condition of anonymity, says two agency employees called Portland police on June 19 when they were blocked from leaving the building in their vehicles. One of those employees told Portland police that protesters followed his truck to pick up his daughter from summer camp and harassed him in the parking lot.
He also says protesters showed up at his Portland apartment building a few hours later. Again, he called the police but says no officer responded.
“This area became like a wild west,” the local immigration officer tells WW.
Chris Crane, president of the national union, says the situation at the ICE building in Portland spiraled out of control because police would not assist federal agents.
“Every person in law enforcement knows there are few things as dangerous or as unpredictable than an angry mob,” Craine says. “No one could have responded quickly enough to protect our employees who were trapped inside this building. All of this because the Mayor of Portland has a beef with the president of the United States.”
The ICE employee’s lawyer is a bulldog, Sean Riddell, who has tried several major civil rights cases successfully. He was fired by the State Attorney after he went after disgraced ex-governor John Kitzhaber and his shack up honey Cylvia Hayes for their pay-to-play green schemes. Kitzhaber was forced to resign while being under federal investigation.