In an address late Friday, Democrat Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler extended a city-wide state of emergency and begged for Portland residents to assist law enforcement in “unmasking” and identifying members of the “self-described anarchist mob” that have rioted through the city nearly every night since last May.
Portland police declared a riot in the city just hours later, as rioters caused a wave of destruction across the city’s northwest side, Fox News reported, with two “anarchist” protesters arrested in the continued unrest.
“The Portland Police Bureau said the planned protest that had been billed as an ‘autonomous demonstration,'” Fox News said. “It started around 9 p.m. PT with around 75 protesters dressed all in black who started vandalizing property around 15 minutes after they began marching from a park near the city’s downtown.”
Wheeler declared a state of emergency in the city early last week, ahead of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, concerned that a “not guilty” verdict might set off a wave of destruction. Chauvin was ultimately found guilty of killing George Floyd.
“The Democrat extended a state of emergency in Portland through Monday amid concerns about potential unrest following the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty on all charges for the death of George Floyd. The Portland mayor asked the public to come forward with any information on members of the anarchist group,” Fox News added on Sunday.
“The city is beginning to recover, but self-described anarchists who engage in regular criminal destruction don’t want things to open up, to recover,” Wheeler told Portland residents. “They want to prevent us from doing the work of making a better Portland for everyone. They want to burn, they want to bash.”
Wheeler who, back in June, pledged to divert millions from Portland law enforcement amid calls to “defund the police” (a position he reversed in March) said on Friday that he supports Portland police using all “legal strategies” to handle the riots, including the controversial “kettling” maneuver, which has police routing protesters into a small area, allowing them out one by one after being processed and searched.
Wheeler said that Black Lives Matter has already stepped forward to denounce the destruction, and he is now asking Portland residents to turn in friends and neighbors they believe might be part of the “self-described anarchist mob” to authorities.
“Our job is to unmask them, arrest them and prosecute them,” he said, ” asking the public to contact the police and provide them with information about the rioters, write down their license plate numbers or film them when they commit acts of vandalism,” per The Washington Post.
“Together we can make a stand,” Wheeler added. “We’re doing what we can today. I’m also asking for your help to make a stand and take our city back.”
“Our community needs to resume their lives, people need to go back to work, employers need to be able to reopen,” he said.