Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Friday condemned "radical Antifa and anarchists" for downtown attacks on New Year's Eve, and said, "it will be necessary to use additional tools and push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end."
"My good-faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists," Wheeler said. "There are just some people who want to watch the world burn. That's what we're up against here."
Wheeler requested for federal, state, and county law enforcement "to convene to deal with anarchist violence as soon as possible." He also asked for the state legislature to increase penalties for repeat offenders of criminal destruction and vandalism.
🔦 In July, Wheeler joined the crowds of protesters, only to be eventually tear-gassed and chased off by fellow protesters.
In August, Wheeler declined President Trump's offer to send federal assistance to Portland, after months of protests, riots continued in the city. Days later, Wheeler blamed Trump for "[creating] the hate and the division."
In response, Trump said on September 1, "We could solve that problem in approximately one hour, but the mayor refuses, perhaps for political reasons. I don't know why it's good for him to have a city that's falling apart ... So to the mayor, I say whenever you're ready, let us know."
In September, Wheeler announced he would be moving after his condo building was attacked by rioters. Nearly two weeks later, Wheeler banned police from using tear gas as crowd control. Portland also saw a surge in shootings after Wheeler disbanded the police department's gun crimes unit.