Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, whose leftist proclivities were on ample display in 2018 when he instructed Portland police officers not to respond after leftists set up camps outside an ICE office and reportedly trapped ICE employees inside the building, had a distinctly different response on Thursday after leftists tried to set up an “autonomous zone” in the area in which he reportedly lives, approving of police clearing the protesters from the area.
KOIN reporter Elise Haas noted in a tweet that included video of the incident: “Portland Police are moving in on protesters in the ‘Patrick Kimmons autonomous zone,’ which is reportedly outside Mayor Wheeler’s residence. They’ve called it a civil disturbance and asked people to stay inside.”
Portland Police are moving in on protesters in the “Patrick Kimmons autonomous zone,” which is reportedly outside Mayor Wheeler’s residence. They’ve called it a civil disturbance and asked people to stay inside. pic.twitter.com/LwAKogsKzM
— Elise Haas (@EliseKOIN) June 18, 2020
The Portland Police Department tweeted:
PPB is declaring a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly from NW 11th east to NW Park Ave and NW Irving south to NW Everett St. If you do not live inside a dwelling in this area, leave immediately to the west. If you do not leave you are subject to arrest or use of force.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 18, 2020
The area of NW 11th east to NW Park Avenue and NW Irving south to NW Everett Street is closed. We are requesting Portland residents in this area stay inside their residence and shelter in place.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 18, 2020
Wheeler not only wanted the “autonomous zone” gone, he even acknowledged that the Seattle “autonomous zone” “CHOP” had some problems of its own.
“I do not want an autonomous zone set up in Portland,” he told reporters Thursday. “I’m watching what’s going on in Seattle and I’m not impressed. I think it’s a distraction from the larger movement; the movement is justice for black people. I’m not in Seattle, obviously, but what I’m hearing out of Seattle concerns me: armed people walking round in the autonomous zone; people being asked to show their papers and demonstrate where they’re from at the entrance to the autonomous zone? Businesses potentially being shaken down to be allowed to operate within the autonomous zone?”
“So if you’re asking about something I support, let me be unequivocally clear: I do not support that and I also believe it’s a distraction from the larger movement, which is to support and uplift black voices in our community,” he said.
Portland Mayor @tedwheeler was in the Pearl District this morning after PPB cleared an area that protesters had deemed an autonomous zone. Wheeler was asked if he'd support such an area being established in the city, here is his response #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/zGRKVeJvqI
— Evan Bell (@evanbellKATU) June 18, 2020
In 2018, the National ICE Council, the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, asked state and federal officials to open a criminal investigation of Wheeler over how he directed police to respond to ICE protests, as Oregon Live reported. The protest lasted 38 days.
In August 2018, GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana introduced a resolution calling on Wheeler to resign. The resolution slammed Wheeler for refusing to order the police to take action when “a mob of leftwing activists recently surrounded an ICE office in southwest Portland, Oregon, trapping ICE employees inside the building.” Cassidy wrote:
Whereas the Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler, barred the Portland Police Bureau from coming to the aid of ICE employees, stating, ‘‘I do not want the @PortlandPolice to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a Federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track . . . If they are looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place.’’; whereas the ICE office in southwest Portland was shut down for days due to threats and occupation; whereas leftwing activists have similarly harassed and threatened ICE employees and targeted ICE offices for closure around the country;
Whereas the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council’s representative stated in a letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler that ‘‘[y]our current policy forbidding Portland law enforcement agencies from assisting employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency who request law enforcement assistance while at or away from work’’ leaves ‘‘them vulnerable to violence, harassment and even death . . . Your policy has created a zone of terror and lawlessness. We ask that you end your policy of not responding to calls for police services from ICE employees immediately. Our membership has been the subjected to threats of physical violence and harassment since you announced your policy,’’ and whereas the President of the Portland Police Association, Daryl Turner, stated, ‘‘There is no place for personal, political bias when it comes to providing public safety services to our communities. In that respect, our Mayor, who is also our Police Commissioner, has failed miserably” … the Senate calls on the Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler, to immediately resign.
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