Portland Mayor Says Let Violence ‘Burn Itself Out’ as Police Detail Nightly Destruction 

Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler responded almost nonchalantly to NPR when asked about the nightly violent riots in his city that have injured countless police officers, destroyed property, and shuttered businesses.

“[The protest] will ultimately burn itself out,” Wheeler told the local public radio station last week.

The Free Beacon reported on Wheeler’s stance, which did not condemn the violence:

Wheeler told OPR [Oregon Public Radio] reporter Rebecca Ellis last week that he expects daily protests in the city—which began in May following the death of George Floyd—to last for some time. He said he expects nightly violence that followed the protests “will ultimately burn itself out.”

The mayor, who is in charge of Portland’s police force, told OPR the department will adjust to the situation on its own.

“They’ve tried everything from not showing up to preemptively dispersing crowds, and some of those strategies, in my opinion, have worked well,” Wheeler said. “Others have not worked well.”

“Wheeler previously proposed to top aides a ‘high-risk’ policing approach in which police would be ordered to stand down and not respond to rioters,” the Beacon reported. “He never put those measures into effect, leaving local police without clear directives in dealing with crowds, whether they are rioting, looting businesses, or setting fire to government buildings.”

In a Thursday press release about the ongoing mayhem and arrests that continue to take place on a nightly basis, including attacking federal property, Portland police said:

After a couple hundred individuals blocked traffic outside of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building, a couple people in the group vandalized and disabled security cameras affixed to the building. Federal Protection Officers emerged from the building and were struck by projectiles, including a rock which injured one of the officers, prompting an unlawful assembly and several arrests. Many in the crowd carried shields, wore helmets, gas masks, and body armor. 

As Federal Protection Officers stood outside of the ICE building, people were seen flashing lasers at their eyes. Others in the crowd were seen throwing projectiles such as eggs, bottles, and rocks at the Federal Protection Officers. One of the Federal Protection Officers was hit with a rock, striking their leg, and injuring them. Due to the seriousness of the crowd’s criminal behavior, the incident commander determined that the event was an unlawful assembly.

After targeted arrests were made, to reduce the intensity of the situation, PPB officers disengaged. As PPB officers disengaged, people in the group continued to throw rocks at officers. 

The police named the 11 people who were arrested:

Those arrested were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on the listed charges: 

*Baxter, Robert, 26, of Reno, Nevada, Interfering with a Peace Officer 

*Oram, Sara, 42, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Abrams, Rebecca, 28, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Canizal Almanza, Ivan, 21, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II, Carrying a Concealed Weapon 

*Atkin, Austin, 25, of Reno, Nevada, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Wilkes, Noah, 21, of Corbett, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Wade, Greyson, 20, of Happy Valley, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Traficano, Daniel, 33, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Molina, Tracy, 47, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Churchwell, Brenden D., 31, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II 

*Phomma, Kevin, 26, of Portland, Oregon, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct II, Harassment, Unlawful use of Mace/Pepper Spray

“My expectation is the police bureau will evolve, and as they see a need for change, they’ll change,” Wheeler said.

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