The recent standoff between ICE and hundreds of Bend protesters illustrates how social justice warriors (SJWs) have decided that their feelings are more important than the rule of law. One expects far-left Democrat politicians like Gov. Kate Brown and Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell to make ridiculous assertions about the detention of two illegal aliens wanted for repeated violations of immigration law and violent criminal history, but Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel embarrassed himself by his comments on the ICE actions and the resulting protest blocking the ICE buses. On the heels of his endorsement of “drastic measures” following the death of George Floyd, Hummel tweeted that intervention by U.S. marshals to free the trapped ICE personnel as “unnecessary and outrageous ... I’ve never been so disgusted by my government.”

Hummel, sworn to uphold the law and prosecute criminals, should understand that ICE agents were executing legal arrests. Contrary to the crocodile tears of SJWs concerned about federal agents “(taking) people from their families, from their job, from their friends, from their children for the crime of coming and working hard for a better life,” as Campbell cried, the agents were targeting individuals who are repeat offenders and charged with multiple crimes. Trying to have it both ways, Mayor Sally Russell claimed she does not support ICE but acknowledged that both men have criminal records.

Hummel was not the only law enforcement official to embarrass himself. Bend’s police chief, Mike Krantz, took pains to assure Bendites that BPD intended to follow state law prohibiting assistance to federal authorities on immigration law violations. In my opinion, the police chief and Hummel have clearly misread state law and have used it to try to nullify federal law, ignoring the fact that the sanctuary law cannot protect illegal aliens from apprehension for other crimes.

They have, in effect, turned Bend into a sanctuary for any alien who commits a crime and implicitly extended an invitation to Antifa and Black Lives Matter thugs to bring their violence to Bend, since disruption of federal authorities will apparently go unpunished.

According to DHS, the detained individuals were wanted on warrants for multiple offenses of domestic violence, previous deportations and repeated illegal crossings, but the popular narrative was to present them as innocent, hardworking family members of our community. Such a simplistic narrative disregards the very real offenses committed by these illegals and ignores the legal authority of ICE to apprehend and hold these illegals for additional charges.

Someone undoubtedly leaked the ICE plans to members of the community who assembled to block the ICE buses. This “spontaneous” action was clear interference with a lawful federal activity and was itself a criminal violation. As noted in an ICE news release, “Obstructing or otherwise interfering with a federal ICE arrest is a crime, and anyone involved may be subject to prosecution under federal law.”

In the final analysis, this standoff is about the rule of law, the antidote to mob rule, and it must be applied equally if society is to function. It cannot be used to target political enemies as I believe was done by the Justice Department under Obama. Nor can it be ignored in the case of violent left-wing demonstrations exemplified by the wholesale release of rioters in Portland, causing state police to disgustedly leave the city. When Democrats want to use the law to punish political opponents while turning a blind eye to the excesses of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, or obstruct legitimate enforcement of immigration laws, we are on a slippery slope. There is little that stands between the rule of law and anarchy when the law is abused with impunity. Those who participated in or supported the obstruction of ICE agents, especially our elected public officials and local law enforcement, should be censured for their misguided sense of social justice, which overwhelmed common sense and the public good.

Paul DeWitt is former chair of the

Deschutes County Republicans.

(5) comments

Catmango

Thank you, Mr. DeWitt, for pointing out the utter ludicrousness of the situation. Our local politicians have no spine and so will relent to the squeaky wheel of a couple hundred protesters (representing ~0.2% of our 100k+ city residents) effectively throwing a toddler tantrum. They're afraid of these mini mobs showing up to their house with their intimidation tactics (as in Portland and Seattle), so they'll give'em what they want. How shameful.

MH765

Was the goal of the Central Oregon Peacekeepers to protect criminals from the rule of law and stoke public anger on both sides of the issue? If so, well done.

unflattered

Mr. Dewitt, the word "thug" directed at Black Lives Matter is an intentional racist slur. Way to send your entire argument down the crapper with an ad hominem. Shame on you, and shame on the Bulletin's Ed. Board for publishing this trash.

COCContheROCK

Captain DeWitt accurately and eloquently called a spade a spade. As a person of color, I find it offensive that you would dare throw shade in the honorable man’s direction. The only ad hominem attack was from you, and the dark cloud of shame is your own.

CardiacSpike

Well said, Mr. DeWitt.

It may interest the Bend community at large, and specifically its city council and mayor, as well as its police department under Chief Krantz, that the Central Oregon Peacekeepers (COPK) a self-appointed “security / protection” group, have no such recognition or standing in the State of Oregon per the Department of Public Safety, Standards, and Training (DPSST).

COPK’s founders, Mr. Luke Richter, and Mr. Michael Satcher, are not trained, certified, nor licensed in Oregon and per DPSST.

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/displayDivisionRules.action?selectedDivision=834

https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/PS/pages/home.aspx

Per Ms. Michelle Morrison in a recent email regarding organizations such as COPK and their legal standing -

“You are correct that these types of organizations do not fall under our jurisdiction, so we do not have any recourse for compliance and rely on law enforcement for this. The public can look up the status of any private security or any other DPSST certified individual – to include law enforcement in IRIS. Access to IRIS is available on our website and it is very user friendly, requiring no login. If you locate a certified individual that you may want additional information on, you would have to submit a public records request. I am not aware, at this time anyways, if there has been discussion on regulating these types of groups.”

Michelle Morrison

Certification and Licensing Background Investigator

Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

Private Security/Private Investigator/Polygraph

In short, as demonstrated in Prineville several weeks ago, Mr. Satcher was arrested as any other private citizen could expect for interfering with a police officer, harassment, and disorderly conduct. It should be noted that any properly background checked and licensed private security guard in Oregon who is arrested is required to report her/his arrest to DPSST. Penalties upon investigation include termination of said license to provide such services.

In short, the Central Oregon Peacekeepers have no more legal standing or authority at any event, demonstration, protest, or riot for that matter than anyone else. Their claims otherwise are pure street drama – meant to intimidate and perhaps to sell their t-shirts.

When they break the law the police, per DPSST, are responsible in taking appropriate enforcement action to include physical arrest. Bottom Line Up Front – stop coddling these agitators, anarchists, and agent provocateurs “just because” and regardless of color, gender, race, creed, or Facebook page.

That said – here are some snippets illustrating DeWitt’s editorial. These taken from the COPK Facebook page. Note COPK does not fact check its public allegations…will not wait for Public Records Release requests to be fulfilled before making its allegations…and essentially demands / insists any and every body from Bend’s mayor on down be “fired”, “terminated”, or “suspended” if they don’t get their way…and EVERYONE is a “racist” unless you tow the COPK line.

Case in point – COPK not only wants Chief Krantz gone (and Chief Cummins…and Sheriff Nelson…and the “feds”…it now DEMANDS that two BPD officers be tarred and feathered, as well.

Central Oregon Peacekeepers

‘The Central Oregon Peacekeepers are calling for the immediate suspension and investigation of Sergeant Cindy Ksenzulak and Officer Leah Boileau at the Bend Police Department. We have been made aware of an appalling and blatant disparity in how these two officers treat suspects based on race.

“This is outrageous and unacceptable. The Peacekeepers are calling for both officers and the bus driver to be suspended without pay, pending an investigation.”

When the City of Prineville unilaterally chose to take down a 10 minute video interview featuring Chief Cummins and an eye-witness to an alternative account of a meeting he had that included BLM and local resident, Josie Stanfield, it posted the below as to why.

Two of the community comments are provided of the 288, so far, in support of Chief Cummins.

City of Prineville

August 21 at 4:06 PM ·

“We, as a community, must continue to have an encouraging and constructive dialogue with each other as we attempt to promote our core values. To further this goal, the City has removed a video from the Prineville Police Department’s Facebook page. The video has remained posted in an effort of transparency, but has instead become a distraction to constructive dialogue.

“The City would like to thank all members of the community that have shared their opinions over the previous weeks. The City would also like to recognize the Prineville Police Department’s commitment to ensuring the safety of the community while citizens have exercised their constitutional rights.

“The City of Prineville continues to explore opportunities for improvement in policies, practices, and procedures that will bring justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for the benefit of all community members.

Kathleen Peet: “As proud Prineville residents and citizens, we are saddened by the circumstances which have led to this decision, but we continue to believe in the promise of this community and its able and competent leadership. Thank you, Police Department staff and all City workers, for the good work you all do every day.”

Bonnie Schmidt: “Thank you for posting the video so that concerned citizens could decide for themselves what happened during the meeting that fateful day. Grownups dont need to constantly prove their actions and it was time to take the video down; adults throwing temper tantrums when someone calls them out need to prove their actions, no matter how wrong they are. Again, thank you for being professional. You are much appreciated and respected!”

COPK popped a blurb up on its FB page offering “Josie won”, then ran the below call for bail money on behalf of Ms. Stanfield to get her husband, arrested for DUII, out of jail. Surprisingly, the comment regarding Mr. Stanfield’s “innocence” and having been the targeting of “hateful locals” has been allowed to remain up…for now. Again, who are these people really?

Central Oregon Peacekeepers

August 17 at 11:52 PM ·

Please help if you can ASAP #crowdsourcing

Katina Hogg Anderson: “How can you be set up when the accident report is out!!!

He was seen by many many other people other than the sheriff’s office (not the Prineville Police Department the sheriff’s office is who made the arrest)…So your telling us that the Road construction employees and all the other wittiness are liars to what really happened Before the sheriffs even showed up?????

“Would it be the Prineville Police’s fault too if your husband killed someone????

“The Prineville police wasn’t there when it all started and the Sheriffs Department is who made the arrest on a man who’s alcohol blood test came back of .15 twice the legal limit to be driving a vehicle in the 1st place!!!...”.

As Paul DeWitt points out in his editorial – “There is little that stands between the rule of law and anarchy when the law is abused with impunity. Those who participated in or supported the obstruction of ICE agents, especially our elected public officials and local law enforcement, should be censured for their misguided sense of social justice, which overwhelmed common sense and the public good.”

I would only add those who kowtow to individuals and groups like COPK, ANTIFA, BLM, and their counter-parts such as the Proud Boys, 3%’er militia crowd, and the liberation theology clergy in Central Oregon need to reassess their moral, ethical, and spiritual courage.

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