U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams, who has been Oregon’s chief federal law enforcement official for the last five years, criticized the media recently for refusing to call the ongoing violent riots in Portland “criminal.”
In an interview outside of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, a reporter asked Williams, “So, we’re going back to how you were talking about this is shadowing the overall message about black lives matter, right? You feel like the late night demonstrations are taking away from the fight for racial justice?”
Oregon chief: ‘This is criminal activity’
“These aren’t late night demonstrations,” Williams replied. “This is criminal activity. There’s a difference.”
“What you have failed and the media have failed to distinguish, between, you seem unwilling to call people engaged in criminal conduct, as criminals, as opposed to lawful protesting,” he said.
“This is unlawful,” Williams continued. “And people, whether you’re an opportunist, an antagonist, an agitator, or an anarchist, call it out for what it is.”
Why doesn't the msm show this chaos? As Portland PD stated, this is "criminal activity", blocking police from responding to emergencies. Why doesn't their mayor or govenor support their officers? #BackTheBlue @PortlandPolice @POTUS This looks like it's getting out of hand. 😟 https://t.co/BZGbuinC41
— Joey Martinez (@PrizmGazer) July 18, 2020
This isn’t mere ‘late night activity’
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The reporter followed up, “So, you’re saying the late night activity that is criminal?”
“What I’m telling you, is you seem to refuse to call something, ‘late night activity,’ this is criminal,” Williams shot back.
When he asked the reporter why she would not describe the violent riots as “criminal,” she said because she doesn’t have “all the police records,” and that it isn’t her “job” because she is “not a police officer.”
As I’ve already said, this is not a protest. This is criminal activity.
“I don’t think federal special forces should be grabbing people near meth labs without identifying themselves”
— Ian Miller (@ianmSC) July 18, 2020
Chief to reporter: ‘You’re choosing terms that sort of downplay the criminal activity’
“You’re using, ‘late night activity,’ it sounds like a party,” Williams responded. “It’s criminal. Look at the debris. We haven’t had a front door since July 3. That’s criminal, okay?”
“You’re choosing terms that sort of downplay the criminal activity and what I’m suggesting is if there is an honest accounting of what this is, that helps build the reality check for how this can stop,” Williams insisted.
“That’s my point,” he finished.
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