Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) on Thursday condemned the violence that recently convulsed his city, stating demonstrators are “attempting to commit murder” following an attack on East Precinct, where violent left-wing agitators attempted to set it ablaze.
“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Wheeler, who has remained relatively soft on demonstrators — even joining them last month — said.
“Don’t think for a moment think that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” Wheeler continued, attempting to deter violent protesters by warning of the possibility of unintentionally helping Trump’s reelection campaign.
“You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up,” he said.
Wheeler added “city staff could have died last night.”
“I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms,” he said.
Demonstrators took to the streets again on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, attacking the East Precinct, destructing security cameras, cracking the building’s glass doors, launching commercial-grade fireworks, and attempting to set the building on fire.
Their actions forced the Portland Police, which has tried to remain “hands-off” throughout the violent protests, to declare a riot:

Tonight’s group outside of East Precinct destructing security cameras. https://t.co/3T2B6pbb0K
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 6, 2020

Tonight’s group outside of East Precinct’s entrance doors setting fire. https://t.co/8SnwFd7Zof
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 6, 2020

#Antifa have started a fire on the front door of the Portland Police east precinct. They tore off the barricade and placed tinder around the fire. They’re trying to burn down the building. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/2UN7o21dZy
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 6, 2020
According to the Portland Police, a truck “associated with the group” attempted to run over officers as they worked to disperse the crowd. Police arrested and booked at least eight people associated with the August 5-6 violence.
Mayor Wheeler made headlines last month after joining violent protesters in Portland, only to find himself largely rejected by the crowd:

People have surrounded the mayor, cursing him and calling for resignation. pic.twitter.com/o0s1azbi2R
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020

People in the protest crowd react to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler saying he won’t commit to abolishing the police. pic.twitter.com/R0bwOjaG5B
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 23, 2020

Portland mayor @tedwheeler is escorted to safety by his security team. Angry protesters follow and try to assault him despite his support on the front lines of the riot. They try to go inside the building but is pushed back by Wheeler’s security. pic.twitter.com/zt8xVY1NDS
— KLove (@Klove90567) July 23, 2020
Last month, Wheeler accused President Trump, who sent federal agents to help protect areas ravaged by violent protests, of “attacking progressive cities with a classic ‘divide and conquer’ tactics.”
It was just one of a number of false claims that have erupted on the back of the riots.
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