Mayor Sends Letter to Trump Defending ‘Portlanders Fighting for Justice’ amid Riots

Ted Wheeler (Nathan Howard / Getty)
Nathan Howard / Getty

On the same day that anarchists and Black Lives Matter supporters breached the condominium where Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lives, he delivered a letter on Friday to President Donald Trump defending rioters who have wreaked havoc nightly for more than three months.

“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery,” Wheeler wrote, slamming Trump for what he called a “bumbling response to the COVID pandemic.”

While stating that criminals would be arrested and prosecuted Wheeler defended what he said are “tens of thousands of Portlanders” who have “peacefully protested and marched for the noble cause of fixing our broken criminal justice system.”

“They are part of the proud progressive tradition of Portlanders fighting for justice,” Wheeler wrote.

Late Friday, Trump said on Twitter that Wheeler is “incompetent” for his inability to maintain order in Portland.

“If the incompetent Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, doesn’t get control of his city and stop the Anarchists, Agitators, Rioters and Looters, causing great danger to innocent people, we will go in and take care of matters the way they should have been taken care of 100 days ago!” Trump tweeted.

Wheeler did not meet with people who occupied the condominium lobby for hours.

A video posted by journalist Andy Ngo shows a black man banging on the door of Wheeler’s condo saying, “I got white people shit to do in there.”

Meanwhile, the violent rioting continued in northeast Portland, where rioters tried to set the Portland Police Association building on fire, according to police.

The police press release said:

Arsonists put some debris, including a large mattress, against the front door of the building, appeared to spray accelerant on it, and lit it on fire. The flames appeared to engulf the front door area of the building and nearly reach the roofline. Due to the extreme life safety concerns, the Incident Commander declared the incident a riot. A warning was broadcast by loudspeaker that the incident was declared a riot and all persons were to disperse immediately to the north. Failure to comply with the order may subject them to citation or arrest to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and/or impact munitions.

“Officers responded and moved the rioters away from the building so the fire could be extinguished,” the police said. “As officers approached, rioters threw objects at them, including rocks. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries after being struck by rocks. During the response, officers used crowd control munitions. However, no CS (tear) gas was deployed.” 

“There was fire damage to the front of the PPA building (photos). Officers also recovered a bottle that contained flammable fluid,” police said. “An arson investigator responded and gathered evidence of the crime. Officers made multiple arrests.”

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