PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has made national headlines again this week after masked antifa members took over the streets in what turned into a violent clash between two differing political groups.
Reports indicated that officers, journalists and even bystanders were caught in the crossfire of the group’s chaos.
Multiple people reported being hit by a substance that was thought to originally be milkshakes, but actually turned out to be quick-drying concrete mixtures in paper cups. The mixture could apparently harden within a matter of minutes.
Wheeler reportedly kept completely quiet on Saturday as hundreds of protestors gathered in the streets to raise their voices against the notorious Proud Boys group. Previous protests between these groups have led to violent outbursts in the past.
So where was Mayor Wheeler while his streets descended into chaos and his police force was assaulted?
That question was voiced by many online… Where was Mayor Wheeler?
Answer: nowhere to be found.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 29, 2019
Back in October, Wheeler addressed his hands-off approach to the increasing number of incidents involving the antifascist group.
“This is the story of Goldilocks and the two bears. The porridge is either too hot or it’s too cold,” he told reporters. “At any given moment in this city, the police are criticized for being heavy-handed and intervening too quickly, or they’re being criticized for being standoffish and not intervening quickly enough.”
Journalist Andy Ngo was on the street during the heated protests. Video captured masked antifa members punching, kicking and throwing things at Ngo.
What happened to @MrAndyNgo is horrible and inexcusable. The #mayor @tedwheeler should be resign for what he has done to #portland. I feel bad for the @PortlandPolice having their hands tied. The socialists with #antifa are dangerous and un-American. pic.twitter.com/k7PV2YTUgW
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) June 30, 2019
Antifa protestors also threw trash cans, newspaper stands, eggs and patio furniture into the streets, according to a KPTV report.
The protest was eventually condemned as an unlawful gathering and police began using pepper spray and zip-tie cuffs to control the situation.
A total of three arrests were made.
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“During today’s events, there were multiple assaults reported, as well as projectiles thrown at demonstrators and officers,” police said. “There were also reports of pepper spray and bear spray being used by people in the crowd. Officers deployed pepper spray during the incident.”
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) June 29, 2019
This continues a long legacy of these types of violent gatherings within the Portland city walls.
In April, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts decided to pull deputy support for Portland calls altogether.
He wrote an email to his deputies, stating his concern for their safety.
“I will not place you at unnecessary personal and professional risk,” the email read.
The city of Portland is largely patrolled by the Portland Police Bureau and receives support from neighboring counties like Clackamas Sheriff’s Department. With this decision, remaining officers in the area will no doubt feel the stress of being understaffed.
VIDEO: 'Riot' Erupts in Portland, Ore. May Day Protest pic.twitter.com/IOr2g4qQId
— azcentral (@azcentral) May 2, 2017
The decision to stop responding to routine calls was made following a statement released by the Portland Police Association.
Due to the overwhelming ‘anti-police’ attitudes in the city of Portland, some officials are stepping in to say ‘no more.’ Enter – Sheriff Craig Roberts.
“The reason the Police Bureau is experiencing catastrophic staffing shortages, drastically declining recruiting success, and the inability to retain officers is due to one core issue: the intense anti-police sentiment in our City that City Council seems to share,” the post from the PPA read.
“False narratives, knee jerk political reactions, along with personal and political agendas have created a hostile work environment and made it an impossible task to effectively police in the City of Portland. Our police officers are frustrated. They deserve better. They deserve to work in an environment where they can perform their primary function — keeping our communities safe — with the support of City Hall. Similarly, our communities are frustrated. They deserve better. They deserve safe, clean streets. It’s that simple,” the PPA’s post read.
“Our elected officials need to prioritize basic city services, the most basic of which is public safety and livability. They can start by doing three things: improving the livability of our drastically deteriorating neighborhoods; supporting the incredible work our officers do to keep our communities safe; and having enough police officers to satisfy our communities’ public safety needs.”
Portland officer have repeatedly been told to stand down during past protests. Mayor Wheeler tends to side with the liberal agenda, taking protests as just people expressing their feelings. But things have gotten violent a number of times.
It’s unclear of which direction Portland is heading… but if nothing changes, it appears that the mayor may no longer have control of his constituents.
"Reason the Police Bureau is experiencing catastrophic staffing shortages, drastically declining recruiting success, & the inability to retain officers is due to 1 core issue: the intense anti-police sentiment in our City that City Council seems to share," https://t.co/CEdGIqJZfQ
— Mental Ammo (@MentalAmmo) April 30, 2019