Taxpayer Association of Oregon
Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty attacked two Black community leaders because, in part, they dared to attend a public press conference with police last summer calling for a peace moratorium after several bruising weeks of rioting and 100 acts of arson. Those leaders made a plea for the violence to stop in an amazing show of unity among Portland’s top voices. Because the press conference involved the Portland Police Association, Jo Ann Hardesty, now calls those Black leaders who participated as “illegitimate”.
Hardesty is also now mad at the same people for trying to press for plans to stop gun violence without first clearing it with the Commissioner.
The Oregonian reports:
“…Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty criticized the Inter-Faith Peace & Action Collaborative for unveiling the plan with the mayor before telling her and other city commissioners about it. Hardesty went further, calling out the collaborative’s representatives, Pastor J. Matt Hennessee and Antoinette Edwards, alleging that the fact that they have “stood with the police” in the past has made them less legitimate leaders in the eyes of the public.
She made the remarks in a meeting of nearly 40 people, including Multnomah County’s district attorney, the police chief and sheriff, the new acting U.S. attorney in Oregon, the county chair and the head of the county’s Department of Community Justice. “I want to be as clear as possible…Having people lead this effort who have stood with the police in a midst of a racial justice reckoning around police misconduct as it relates to Black people in our community also gives people pause,” Hardesty said.
She said she respects both Hennessee, chair of the collaborative, and Edwards, who led the city’s Office of Violence Prevention for 10 years before retiring in 2019.
But then Hardesty added: “You are the only two Black people that stood with Daryl Turner to say you would march with the police at the height of a racial reckoning on police misconduct and the community has not forgotten.”
Her remarks referenced a July news conference that Hennessee and Edwards attended outside the police union office in North Portland when Turner, the president of the Portland Police Association, called for a moratorium on violence and vandalism that often erupted after dark at social justice protests. About 20 religious leaders, business owners, police and neighborhood residents stood with Turner that day. Edwards, Hennessee and Gina Ronning, a local activist who is part of the collaborative, took offense at Hardesty’s comments and said so.”
This incident is just tragic as Hardesty is acting like police are criminals instead of the lifesaving heroes that they are. Hardesty’s actions resemble those of the anarchists who treat police as inhuman.
As the article states, Hardesty is also mad at the Black leaders for rushing their gun violence reduction plans. Please excuse others for acting quickly since shootings have doubled and homicides reached a 20+ high.