But over the weekend, police took an entirely hands-off approach to the fighting, even as the demonstrations grew more violent than ever. As officers stood by on Saturday, the Proud Boys and their far-right friends attacked and intimidated anti-fascist protesters using paintball guns, mace, fireworks, aluminum bats and various firearms, according to The Washington Post.
One of them — notorious Proud Boys organizer Alan Swinney — was seen pointing a gun at protesters, his finger on the trigger. Another Proud Boy, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, was present, per the Post, in apparent violation of his parole over an attack at a similar demonstration in 2017 (he wasn’t apprehended on Saturday, but a judge on Monday issued a warrant for his arrest).
Allowing local far-right groups to wreak havoc on the city isn’t a big departure for the PPB. As the Proud Boys cheered, officers launched tear gas and other munitions at anti-fascist counterprotesters during a rally in 2017, which left one antifa protester with a gas canister lodged in his head. Police gave the Proud Boys an escort out of the city following a rally in 2018 that saw the far-right demonstrators outnumbered by anti-fascists. A key officer had a friendly and ongoing relationship with the leader of Proud Boys affiliate group Patriot Prayer, judging from texts obtained by Willamette Week.Portland Police Are Giving Up On Policing The Far-Right | HuffPost