Today activists returned to 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. to show their ongoing support towards ending collaborations between the Multnomah County Sheriff and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Earlier in the day, a group that included Commissioner Amanda Fritz had met with Sheriff Staton and expected a follow-up response at 3pm. A number of people gathered on the ground floor where the Portland Radical Choir sang revised Christmas carols, harmoniously calling for an end to deportations. At 3pm the group went up to Sheriff Staton's office, crowding the lobby and spilling into the hallway. The sheriff
was a no-show at press time, opting instead to send two representatives, one of whom remarked (emphasis mine):
"He (Sheriff Staton) feels like for today he's made his statements and received your information," adding "He has more information to consider now."
Not at all satisfied with his I-don't-feel-like-it-attitude, members of the crowd insisted that Sheriff Staton come out to speak to them directly, and the Radical Choir kept everyone entertained as his representatives were sent to try and summon him from his office. The sheriff still refused to show and it was clear that he had no interest in addressing the community, even though he had confirmed that he would during the previous meeting. The representatives took comments from the crowd which they said would be relayed to the sheriff, even though neither of the men wrote any of them down, and many people voiced their extreme disappointment in the sheriff and his unwillingness to appear in person.
Even though Sheriff Daniel Staton has failed to make any progress on this issue, activists are not deterred by his disinterest in ending his collaboration with ICE. People should be reminded that the sheriff is an elected official, and that there are other ways to increase the pressure, such as continuing to speak to the Multnomah Board of County Commissioners. It was clear that Sheriff Staton has little respect for the community's time and even less respect for the issues that are important to them. One woman stated:
"If we are going to have dialogue, it needs to be directly with the sheriff."