Jakhary Jackson, a black Portland police officer, detailed his experience in responding to the violent protests that have rocked the city over the last several weeks, explaining that many of the protesters “don’t know what they’re saying” and are actively using “the same tactics that were used against my people.”
Jackson said that he has watched as clueless demonstrators have dominated the protests — demonstrators who “have no idea what racism is all about.”
Jackson said in partial audio shared by the Portland Police Department:
I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us, that have been impacted by racism. And then I got to see those people get faded out by people who have no idea what racism is all about, that don’t even know that the tactics they’re using are the same tactics that were used against my people.
“And they don‘t even know the history. They don’t know what they’re saying. As someone who graduated from PSU with a history degree, it’s actually frightening,” he continued, adding:
I’m cool with people who feel like they want to help a movement, but then when you go to a gentrified community, and one of the first pictures I saw of one of the businesses that was looted was a black-owned business, they’re not even from here, they don’t even know what they’re doing.
He called it “divisive,” stressing that it is “hurting the community.”
Officer Jackson talks about being a black police officer working at the demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/ZtIjQ7AMaO
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 15, 2020
Jackson detailed how he has been treated by white Black Lives Matter protesters, some of whom have told him to quit his job and mocked his physical appearance.
“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest, and you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd, and you have white people screaming at black officers, ‘You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen,'” he recalled.
“Once again, you have a privileged white person telling a person of color what to do with their life and you don’t even know what I’ve dealt with. These white officers you’re screaming at, you don’t know them. You don’t know anything about them,” he continued:
I’ve been called on calls the n-word I can’t even count the times since I’ve been a police officer and have white officers jump in to defend me, and me telling them to ignore it, and them being absolutely shocked. And they get to see it, so when you’re standing on the line and they’re getting called those names and they’re getting accused of being racist — when you’ve seen those officers helping people of color – getting blood on them, trying to save someone’s life who’s been shot, gang violence, domestic violence – and you see them and they’re truly trying to help save someone’s life, and then they’re turned around and called a racist by people who’ve never seen anything like that. I have had great conversations. I met two young brothers literally after I’d take explosive, been hit with a full beer can, taken a rock in my chest, a frozen water bottle had hit me, I met two young brothers cleaning up the street. They had garbage bags, and they were just running and cleaning up. A few of us from my team went over, and, I had to shake their hands, I was so moved by that, so impressed. They said, ‘We’re from here, this is our city. I don’t understand why people are coming here and destroying it.’
Jackson’s full remarks below:
His remarks follow weeks of violent protests rocking the city of Portland, dominated by vandalism, looting, and acts of aggression against police officers.
Protesters have vandalized federal buildings, attempted to light police precincts on fire, and targeted officers specifically, launching commercial-grade fireworks at them, in one instance.
President Trump this week teased a forthcoming announcement in response to the ongoing violence in these cities run by “liberal, left-wing Democrats.”
“They’re like war zones. And if the city isn’t to straighten out, if local politicians — or, in this case — I don’t say this for political reasons — they’re all Democrats. They’re liberal, left-wing Democrats,” the president said.
“And it’s almost like they think this is going to be this way forever. Where in Chicago 68 people were shot and 18 died last week. We’re not going to put up with that,” he continued. “We’re not going to put up with that.”
The news coincides with reports of federal law enforcement officers responding to the violence in Portland, detaining protesters in unmarked police vehicles.