By Kayla Costa
18 February 2019
A report from a local news publication reveals close connections between the far-right group Patriot Prayer and the police department in Portland, Oregon. The latest ties confirm the support provided to Patriot Prayer by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), which has been a regular feature of the provocations between the far-right group and Antifa-linked forces in recent months and years.
Through a public records request, Willamette Week journalists acquired hundreds of texts between Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Jeff Niiya and leader Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing chauvinist group based in the Pacific Northwest. Their communications included amiable and detailed discussions about upcoming demonstration plans, legal advice for Patriot Prayer members, and known individuals among the counter-demonstrations.
In an exchange of texts in December 2017, Gibson asked Niiya about the status of an active arrest warrant for another prominent Patriot Prayer member, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese. Lt. Niiya counseled Gibson, explaining that Toese would likely not be arrested, based on officers ignoring his warrant at previous events. “Just make sure he doesn’t do anything which may draw our attention,” the officer advised. “I don’t see a need to arrest on the warrant unless there is a reason.”