On June 3, during a George Floyd/Black Lives Matter Protest, the city of St. Helens got invaded by 70 groups of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that has ties to the Columbia County Republican Party and that has attracted racist and violent followers.
The group is similar to the more well known Proud Boys, another violent extremist group. Our police knew, organized, and coordinated with Patriots behind the public eye and this allowed them to intimidate and terrorize Black Live Protesters indiscriminately.
This is an outrage and unacceptable, and there needs to be an external investigation into why this was done behind closed doors and why Mayor Rick Scholl blamed Black Lives Protesters for reason to be concerned with when reports have shown any threats being made were coming from the same white supremacist groups the police were working with.
We need change and we need it now.