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Portland Mayor Says DHS Officers Are To Blame For Violence, Not Rioters
Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Portland, Oregon, has had a tumultuous year between Antifa riots and the new wave of unrest following the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

As looters and rioters have cost Portland businesses a reported $23 million, Mayor Ted Wheeler said Tuesday that his “biggest immediate concern” was not the criminals destroying the city, but federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security and their alleged “violence” and “life-threatening tactics.”

Wheeler said DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf reached out to him about the unrest in Portland and asked how the federal agency could help.

“Today the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security asked to speak with me about demonstration activity in Portland. He expressed his concern about ongoing violence and asked how his agency can help,” Wheeler said.

The mayor then said he denied Wolf’s help and blamed the federal agency for the violence in Portland.

“I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help,” Wheeler tweeted.

In another follow-up tweet, Wheeler said he told DHS officials to either stay in their building or leave the city. He also said they should clean the graffiti on federal buildings.

“The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities,” he tweeted.

“While we’re busy cleaning our streets and buildings, the two federal buildings are covered with graffiti that has been there for weeks on end. Our plan is this: protect our community. Clean up our city. And re-open,” Wheeler added.

It is Portland demonstrators who are adding the graffiti.

Fox News reported that “DHS deployed officers from multiple federal law enforcement agencies this month to protect government installations, including a courthouse.”

“Chaos has broken out in the city’s streets, frequently aimed at federal property as activists and some local leaders have objected to the presence of federal officers,” the outlet added. “Over the weekend, a 23-year-old demonstrator allegedly struck a federal officer in the head with a hammer outside a courthouse. The demonstrator is accused of beating a hole into the building’s door with the hammer before officers came outside. Then he struck the officer in the head and shoulder with the hammer before being taken into custody, according to the Portland Police Bureau.”

Fox further reported that Portland’s own police department is “struggling to contain the unrest”:

The bureau has publicly shared images of projectiles hurled at police, crowds refusing to clear out, and weapons seized from protesters.

And police have said officers have been injured in a number of incidents — on multiple occasions due to protesters throwing fireworks at them.

“Our officers are tired, but they are resilient,” Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement announcing more than a dozen arrests on the Fourth of July. “Our community deserves better than nightly criminal activity that destroys the value and fabric of our community.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Portland Mayor Says DHS Officers Are To Blame For Violence, Not Rioters