Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, Oregon, voiced his support to city police who had been widely criticized for insufficient response to Antifa violence in the city last week.
"I was appalled by what I saw in that clip and I support the decisions of the Portland Police. I trust them," Ted Wheeler tweeted, referring to a brawl that broke out between Antifa protesters and right-wing demonstrators in downtown Portland last week.
I was appalled by what I saw in that clip and I support the decisions of the @PortlandPolice. I trust them. I believe them as the law enforcement professionals who have to weigh complex legal and safety issues, not only for the people on the streets but also for themselves. —TW— Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) 12 октября 2018 г.
On Monday, he also proposed new restrictions on protests if the protesters had a history of violence, drawing criticism that such measures would allow him to regulate speech and assembly.
The mayor's turning a blind eye on reported Antifa violence and supporting passive police response has drawn public condemnation, with people claiming that they were fearing for their safety.
We loved frequently visiting downtown, having dinner, and shopping on the weekends. No more. You won’t protect us. You give your streets over to the violent anarchist group Antifa, and we are to follow their direction or be assaulted while police stand down?! You are pathological— americana4zion (@americana4zion1) 14 октября 2018 г.
Canceling my plans to open an office in Portland now and will NOT be bringing my family to beautiful PDX again until some common sense returns. What in the hell are you thinking man! You have a responsibility to tax paying citizens to protect them.— Alan Christoffersen (@AlanChristoffer) 14 октября 2018 г.
It’s called “Leftist Immunity” and it’s running rampant all over the place right now. #walkaway— Tim Sharkey (@SharkeyTim) 14 октября 2018 г.
Mr. Wheeler, what I find appalling is your inaction in this matter and your actual DEFENSE of the crimes committed by these thugs! As Mayor and Police Commissioner, I would have thought that your moral compass would have been much better aligned! Apparently it is not!— Christopher Hiller (@scotthiller) 15 октября 2018 г.
The mayor's comments came two days after protests flared up in Portland following the death of Patrick Kimmons, a 27-year-old black man who was ostensibly involved in a shooting that left two men wounded and was later gunned down by local police.
According to Fox News and Andy C. Ngo, a Portland-based writer and reporter who filmed the events in Portland streets, leftist protesters have verbally harassed passersby, including a senior citizen, with other demonstrators attempting to direct traffic, while cops on motorcycles were watching from a block away. There have been no reported arrests after the protests yet.
Ngo has uploaded a series of videos showing a violent altercation unfold between Antifa activists and counter-protesters from the right.
In one clip, two mobs can be seen engaging in an across-the-street verbal altercation. A group of masked people chants, "Black lives matter," a slogan condemning violence towards black people, while members of the Patriot Prayer group shouted "USA," waving American flags.
The two groups met at the same intersection in that Portland video that went viral. Masked people on one side shout “Patrick Kimmons.” Other side says “shot two people.” pic.twitter.com/OsUoq3uHj4— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) 14 октября 2018 г.
According to Ngo, the protests were caught in an upward spiral of violence after a purported Antifa activist sprayed mace on members of a right-wing group, despite the left-wing protesters' previous statement that they had come there "for justice."