Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) on Thursday ordered the Portland Police Bureau to cease using a form of tear gas as riots continue to plague the Democrat-run city.
The Oregonian reports:
The declaration that officers will no longer unleash CS gas comes after 105 straight days of protests that have seen city and federal officers deploy tear gas on participants. Over that time, people have also repeatedly been subjected to gas by Portland police in their cars or homes while not participating in the demonstrations. […]
Public records show Portland police have spent tens of thousands of dollars on less-lethal munitions and tear gas canisters in response to nightly protests.
“During the last hundred days Portland, Multnomah County and state police have all relied on CS gas where there is a threat to life safety,” Wheeler, who also serves as Portland’s police chief, said in a video statement. “We need something different. We need it now.”
Below is Wheeler’s full statement:
In a statement to The Oregonian, Oregon State Police Captain Timothy Fox said: “The OSP will be forced to assess our involvement in assisting the city of Portland.”
“We will not for force our troopers into this untenable situation and limit their ability to defend themselves and others,” he added.
Oregon State Police slammed the move by Wheeler as “reckless and short sighted.”
Wheeler was previously teargassed as he met with protesters back in July.
President Donald Trump and Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, have repeatedly warned Wheeler that the administration could re-send federal resources into Portland to quell violent unrest.
“Let me be clear: Those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions, indiscriminately destroy our businesses and attack our law enforcement officers and fellow citizens are a threat to the homeland,” Wolf said this week. “The department has experienced this firsthand in Portland, Oregon, where violent opportunists repeatedly targeted and attempt to burn down a federal courthouse, the seat of justice in downtown Portland.”
Wheeler’s ban comes after law enforcement arrested 11 rioters in connection to another violent demonstration in Portland Tuesday evening.