Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Breaks Silence on Antifa Assaults, Slammed for Tepid Response

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler R arrives at Christ The King church for the funeral service of Army veteran and father of four, Ricky Best on June 5, 2017 in Milwaukie, Oregon. Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, were stabbed to death and Micah Fletcher,21, was severely injured after they tried …
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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler finally broke his silence on Monday on the Antifa assaults in his city after conservative gay journalist Andy Ngo, and two other men, were sent to the emergency room covered in blood and lacerations.

He addressed the assaults in series of tweets that never mentioned or condemned Antifa specifically for the assaults, which were caught on camera.

He began by saying he was “proud” that Portland has always been a “beacon of free speech.”

He then vaguely said “some” have used their freedom of speech as an opportunity to incite violence, without explaining who he was talking about.

He again said “some” chose to engage in violence, without mentioning who.

He then said the city stands against “all forms of violence – regardless of someone’s political leanings,” perhaps the closest direct acknowledgment of Ngo’s conservative views.

He then defended the police, who were criticized for not intervening in Ngo’s and others’ attacks on the streets of Portland.

“Portland police officers have the enviable task of keeping the peace. It’s a difficult job and hard decisions are made in real time,” he tweeted:

He then pledged to “make sure those who have committed violence are held accountable”:

Wheeler’s tepid remarks were slammed by conservative gay rights activists.

“While the mayor now wants to pretend this is about free speech, this is not about free speech. You don’t show up with a tire iron to do some sort of a free speech rally. They looked for Andy, they targeted him,” said Richard Grenell, Trump’s ambassador to Germany and an advocate for gay rights.

Grennell has called for the Justice Department to investigate the incidents.

Scott Presler, a pro-Trump gay conservative, also slammed Wheeler’s statement.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has also called for federal authorities to get involved.

Wheeler claimed he never ordered Portland police officers to not stop the violence, but he has in the past defended about his hands-off approach.

“I was appalled by what I saw in the video, but I support the Portland Police Bureau’s decision not to intervene,” he told reporters last October after Antifa protestors blocked streets, harassed drivers, and vandalized cars, according to the Washington Times.

He was also defiant when responding to Cruz’s comments.

“I ordered no such thing,” he said, after Cruz said he ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked. Wheeler is also police commissioner of Portland.

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