Perhaps the Portland Police Bureau is missing a dictionary. De-escalation occurs when opposing forces meet in a confrontation and one side chooses a less aggressive stance in an effort to reduce tensions. This is not what the Portland Police have done.
Night after night, rioters have marched to the building that houses the police union and attempted to burn it down and otherwise vandalize it, even when they know it is occupied. Their latest attempt included tearing off part of the plywood over the windows and inserting a hose, trying to flood the building. The police were able to get the hose out.
The rioters left for a while then returned and began setting fires to the exterior of the building again. The police used a sound truck to inform the rioters they could be subject to crowd control measures such as tear gas. The rioters responded by pointing powerful green lasers at the officers in the truck.
In an attempt to deescalate the situation, officers disengaged and stayed away from the event. A smoke canister was deployed to help the officers leave safely. The crowd remained for several hours in the street, but they were otherwise peaceful and officers had no further contact with them.
Translation – The police put up a smokescreen so they could run away. They made no arrests as arsonists and vandals destroyed property, and did nothing when rioters tried to physically harm officers by shining lasers at their eyes.
This isn’t de-escalation, it’s encouragement. If rioters can act with impunity, why wouldn’t they?