Portland Mayor Joins Protestors, They Start Rioting, He Gets Tear-Gassed by Feds
Ted Wheeler's security detail struggles to recover him from riot crowd
Portland's far-left mayor, Ted Wheeler, joined protest crowds in his city, who started rioting while he was amongst the mobs, triggering a response from federal police to quell the violence.
Wheeler's security detail reportedly struggled to recover the mayor from the violent crowd.
After getting caught up in the unrest, Mayor Wheeler ended up getting tear-gassed by the feds.
A riot was declared in Portland just after midnight Thursday morning after Mayor Ted Wheeler’s tense visit with protesters.
During the meet, he was booed, told to resign, given a list of demands, and then caught up in the riot.
His visit ended with his security detail battling with protesters as they fought to get the mayor to safety, a report said.
Earlier, he moved with protesters to the fence outside of the federal courthouse where he stood at the front and was tear-gassed along with the crowd, according to New York Times correspondent Mike Baker.
A riot has been declared outside the Justice Center. Disperse to the north and/or west. Disperse immediately. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest or citation, or riot control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 23, 2020
Wheeler called the tear-gassing an "egregious overreaction," telling Baker he didn't see anything in the crowd that warranted the reaction by federal officers, accoridng to Fox News.
"This is not a de-escalation strategy," he said.
"This is flat-out urban warfare and it's being brought on this country by the president and it's got to stop now."
As Wheeler left, a few protesters following him tried to push against his security team once he had entered a building.
Others threw water bottles and other projectiles at the glass door, according to Baker.
Wheeler leaves the scene. Protesters throw water bottles at him and curse him. He manages to get inside a building after a scuffle between protesters and his security detail. pic.twitter.com/eRn2gWlpqm— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020
Portland's City Council passed new policies on Wednesday that immediately bans all police bureau members from working with federal law enforcement and prevents them from intentionally arresting or using force on journalists and legal observers.
Someone threw something at the mayor pic.twitter.com/ArNnYFxoJ9— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020
Wheeler coughing pic.twitter.com/VOT79l1NNF— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says the tear gas stings. Says egregious overreaction from feds. Calls it urban warfare. pic.twitter.com/hrRICiNGHn— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020
Wheeler had joined protesters downtown earlier in the evening for a listening session where he thanked them for opposing the Trump administration’s “occupation” of the city in the deployment of federal agents.
"I think what we're doing tonight is actually the best thing we can do right now," Wheeler told hundreds in the crowd after a protester asked how to get federal officers out of the city, according to KGW-TV.
"Be here, be heard, be unified, and be clear.
"We didn't want them, we didn't ask for them, they're not trained for what they're being asked to do.
"And we want them to leave."
Wheeler, who has repeatedly said he opposes the deployment of federal officers to the city, was nearly drowned out by shouts and jeers and calls to resign and was loudly booed when he told a protester that he didn’t support abolishing the police department.
He then addressed a much larger crowd from a raised balcony, saying “I am here tonight to stand with you.”
He received some cheers when he chanted "Black Lives Matter!" with the crowd.
Some protesters also threw fireworks at the courthouse and tried to knock down the fencing erected outside.
Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, has been accused by some of not reining in local police, who have used tear gas multiple times before federal agents arrived early this month in response to nearly two months of nightly protests since George Floyd was killed.
Others, including business leaders, have condemned Wheeler for not bringing the situation under control before the federal agents arrived.