The mayor of Portland told Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents on Twitter that the city does not “need or want their help,” despite the locality facing its sixth straight week of violent demonstrations.
Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler claimed he didn’t want DHS personnel on the streets due to the “life-threatening tactics” they allegedly employ to curb demonstrations. He said he had spoken with the acting DHS secretary, who had offered to help the city.
“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,” Wheeler Tweeted. “We do not need or want their 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.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020(Article Continues Below Advertisement)
Protests and violent demonstrations in Portland followed the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, viral video showed. The six-week, city-wide disturbance has caused an estimated $23 million in damage from looting and rioting, according to Fox News.
Federal agents — DHS among them — were deployed earlier in July to protect certain public buildings, according to Fox. Some of the personnel were met with resistance, as a federal officer was struck in the head with a hammer during a riot that caused $50,000 worth of damage to a local courthouse over the weekend, Fox reported.
Wheeler wanted DHS agents gone and he urged them to “stay inside” or “leave Portland altogether” in a follow-up Tweet. The mayor also said he wanted the agency to prioritize cleaning the graffiti that protesters sprayed on their building.
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.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
Portland Police clashed with a number of demonstrators that refused to vacate the streets on Tuesday, according to a Tweet from the department. Some in the crowd allegedly threw bottles, rocks and ball bearings, among other things at officers dawning riot gear, Portland Police said.
A snapshot of the crowd on N Lombard St on July 13-14 that remained after numerous lawful orders to disperse. Glass bottles, paint, rocks, ball bearings, and other projectiles hurled at Officers. The arrest is for a subject unlawfully directing a laser pointer in officer’s eyes. pic.twitter.com/59TPx84j6B
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 14, 2020
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