Journalist Andy Ngo doesn’t think Portland police are prepared to handle the potentially explosive confrontation between right-wing groups and so-called anti-fascists this weekend.
The conservative journalist, who was brutally attacked while covering a rally in Portland in June and said he sustained a brain injury during the assault, spoke with Fox News on Friday about the dueling protests planned for Saturday.
(Video: Fox News)
“I’m really concerned about the Antifa versus right-wing protest happening tomorrow. I think it has the potential to be a powder keg,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
“In Portland, political violence is a banality now,” he added.
“However, the demonstrations are looming in the shadows of the recent mass shootings by the far-left and the far-right ideologues and their extremist elements who are broadcasting their desires for bloodshed,” Ngo said. “On top of that, police seem to be at a breaking point. They’re severely understaffed.”
“Don’t you trust the police to be able to keep the peace?” Steve Doocy asked.
“I wish I could, but as many of your viewers know, nearly seven weeks ago now I was beaten and robbed in daylight in the middle of Downtown Portland in the front of the police precinct by Antifa, and there still has not been a single arrest,” he said, referring to the attack that prompted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to call for “legal action” against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Ted Cruz calls for ‘legal action’ against Portland mayor after brutal Antifa attack https://t.co/eOOpGT92sh
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 30, 2019
In fact, reports ahead of the weekend’s planned protests have shown that Portland’s police have continued to arrest right-wing demonstrators while seeming to ignore outright acts of violence by those on the left.
‘Right-wing’ free speech activists charged, while Portland reportedly allows Antifa to rule the streets https://t.co/26Qoggg8rE
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 16, 2019
“I don’t want to be cynical about the Portland police. I know that they’re working under a lot of political pressure because in Portland our mayor also doubles as police commissioner,” Ngo said. “There are a number of other variables at hand. I just hoped that by now the authorities and those in power have gotten their act together so we don’t see repeats of violence or potentially deadly violence tomorrow.”
The editor for Quillette went on to note the “stand-down atmosphere” by law enforcement in a city he described as “extremely anti-police” which also has “an odd political system” due to the mayor doubling as police commissioner.
“I think stand down atmosphere is not an overstatement,” he said.
“It’s from my perception, based on my coverage of the events over and over, that there may not be a vocal stand-down order but in practice, the policies that are outlined for police is basically stand down,” Ngo noted.
“As you can see in the videos that go viral over and over, Antifa and other far-left militants can take over the streets of downtown with impunity,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wheeler claimed his city is “very prepared” for the dueling protests, telling Fox News Thursday that law enforcement will “be ready.”
Portland’s hands-off mayor says he’ll be ready for Antifa’s next gig, remains clueless on Andy Ngo https://t.co/Z3sIN2HaAJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 14, 2019
The Oregon Democrat stopped short of denouncing Antifa groups directly, however, deflecting the question even when asked how he planned to handle the local Antifa group, Rose City Antifa, who claimed responsibility for the attack on Ngo.
“Well, as the police commissioner, my job is to give broad strategic directions,” Wheeler said. “I don’t personally, as the mayor, get involved in investigations, but I know that they are moving forward.”
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