PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A member of Portland's city council said she is not shocked by a newspaper report that the commander for the police rapid response team exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city.
Councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty said the reporting Thursday in Willamette Week confirms some Portland police work in collusion with right-wing extremists.
Willamette Week obtained text messages through a public records request between Lt. Jeff Niiya and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. The texts purportedly show Niiya had a friendly rapport with Gibson, frequently discussing Gibson's plans to demonstrate.
In one text reported by the newspaper, Niiya tells Gibson that he doesn't see a need to arrest his brawling assistant even if he has a warrant, unless the assistant commits a new crime.
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