Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler defended a decision to have police stand down during an “anti-Fascist” protest in Portland weeks ago, allowing black-clad Antifa members to run roughshod through the city, directing traffic, chasing motorists, and causing chaos.
Wheeler, who has been criticized in the past for refusing to curb Antifa’s antics, pinned blame for the mayhem on Portland’s Police Bureau in a statement on Twitter, and claimed that the incident “will be investigated.”
Wheeler added that “motorists should feel completely safe coming into downtown Portland.”
I was appalled by what I saw in that clip and I support the decisions of the @PortlandPolice. I trust them. I believe them as the law enforcement professionals who have to weigh complex legal and safety issues, not only for the people on the streets but also for themselves. -TW
— Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) October 12, 2018
As mayor, Wheeler also serves as police commissioner.
Antifa took to the streets last weekend to protest the shooting death of Patrick Kimmons, who was killed in a police involved shooting in early October. Independent journalist Andy Ngo documented the protests, including an incident where Antifa demonstrators forced their way into a busy intersection and proceeded to direct traffic. Protesters even chased down one elderly motorist who refused to stop when instructed, leaving him shaken.
This is the type of street anarchy that routinely happens where I live. Here is video from 6 Oct showing Antifa directing traffic in downtown & threatening people who don’t obey with violence. Mayor @tedwheeler, who really runs this town? https://t.co/OgjZNByxat
— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) October 8, 2018
Antifa later “doxxed” the elderly driver and compared him to a neo-Nazi activist in Charlottesville, who drove into a crowd of protesters last year, killing Heather Heyer and injuring several others. The driver has since filed a police report.
Wheeler, who later called the incident “inappropriate,” was missing in action during the protest.
“I think it is extremely inappropriate for people to be blocking traffic, to be harassing people going about their everyday business and violating the law,” Wheeler said in an interview with OregonLive. “I do not support that kind of behavior.”