Portland Politician Calls To Defund Police, Then Calls Police On Lyft Driver

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Meet Jo Ann Hardesty, city councilwoman of Portland, who has become infamous after calling the police on her Lyft driver while simultaneously calling to defund the Portland Police Bureau.

She recently proposed an amendment to the city budget that called to “reallocate $18 million from the Portland Police Bureau” in order to “build a bold new model of community safety.”

So let’s break this down. She wants to take the funding away from the Portland Police Bureau and use that money to “reinvest in our communities.” Essentially, she wants to defund the police. According to her “Rethink Portland” project, she intends to:

–reduce and limit the size and scope of our police force

–reinvest those dollars in community

–create alternatives to the police

–decriminalize non-violent offenses

–demilitarize officers

The problem, Hardesty explained, is that “an armed Portland police officer” is who “shows up when you call 911 about a nonviolent dispute.” She’s explaining that this isn’t safe for an armed Portland police officer to respond to nonviolent disputes.

Hilariously and hypocritically, she soon found herself in a nonviolent dispute and guess what she did.

She called the police. The same police that she calls dangerous and wants to defund.

The nonviolent dispute began before the ride had even started, as Hardesty got angry over a mixup of her pickup location by a casino.

Once she got into the car, she noticed that the two front windows were cracked open. She said she was cold and demanded that the driver roll the partially opened windows all the way up. But the driver said no, he would not, because Lyft recommends keeping them cracked a bit due to Covid concerns. Well, she wasn’t happy with that answer.

“I did say, ‘It’s for my safety and your safety.’ But that was like pouring gas on her fire. She demanded that I close that window right now. She was kind of ballistic at that point.”

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After starting the trip and realizing that Hardesty would continue demanding that the windows be rolled up, he took the next exit off of the highway and pulled into a gas station.

“So I made a decision, it would be in the best interest for both of us to cancel the ride.”

At this point Hardesty flatly refused to exit the vehicle, saying she should not be expelled from the vehicle and left at the gas station so late at night. The driver pulled right up to the door of the convenience store, but Hardesty still refused to get out.

In the dispatch recording, she says that the driver threatened to call the police, so she called them first, and then specifically requested that an officer respond to the situation. You remember, an armed police officer, showing up to nonviolent disputes like this one, who are apparently so dangerous to the community that she is calling to defund them.

The dispatcher tried to explain to Hardesty that she needed to just hang up with the police (who she wants to defund and believes are dangerous) and use her phone to order another ride because nothing criminal has transpired here. Because really, the police can’t force a Lyft driver to give an uncooperative and belligerent customer a ride after the ride has been cancelled and no Monet had changed hands. It doesn’t work that way.

When The Oregonian reached out to both parties, only one cared to respond. The Lyft driver, Richmond Frost, said,

“She was not a pleasant person. That has nothing to do with her political position as a Portland council person. I’m out here doing my job. She was very disrespectful to me, made me uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I have to sit in a car for anyone to have to argue unrelentingly and be rude and abusive, telling me what I have to do in my own vehicle.”

Despite refusing to comment on her actions, councilwoman Hardesty did file a complaint with Lyft, saying it was

“totally inappropriate to expect a woman to get out of a vehicle in the dead of night.”

Luckily for Hardesty and anyone else in Portland who calls the police, he $18 million amendment proposal was not passed. Unfortunately for the council member who voted against it, the radical mob responded with violence and vandalism. Because apparently hatred and anger are the only way radical leftists can communicate their feelings.