Portland’s Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler—who this summer said he’d let violence from leftist protesters “burn itself out”—blamed “concerns” over election-week unrest on white supremacist groups.
“Given the heightened concerns about potential violence, particularly from white supremist [sic] organizations and the divisive rhetoric from Washington, D.C., the need for coordination and partnership takes on statewide significance,” Wheeler tweeted on Monday. “Oregon is likely to be a flashpoint.”
Given the heightened concerns about potential violence, particularly from white supremist organizations and the divisive rhetoric from Washington, D.C., the need for coordination and partnership takes on statewide significance. Oregon is likely to be a flashpoint.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) November 2, 2020
In a series of tweets, Wheeler outlined the city’s steps to prepare for another wave of violence following Tuesday’s election. City law enforcement has been preparing “for several weeks” for a “wide-range of scenarios,” Wheeler said, and police officers will not be allowed to take time off.
The Justice Department in September labeled Portland an “anarchist jurisdiction” because Wheeler and other city leaders failed to support local law enforcement when anti-police rioters—many of whom identify with the leftist anarchist group Antifa—swarmed Portland’s streets for more than 100 consecutive nights.
During that time, the rioters repeatedly targeted a federal courthouse—once barricading officers inside the building before launching fireworks toward it—and burned the city’s police union headquarters.
In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting this summer, Wheeler said he planned to let the rioting and violence “burn itself out.”
After protesters targeted his condominium numerous times this summer, Wheeler announced in September he would move to keep himself and his neighbors safe. He is up for reelection on Tuesday.