Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler showed up at the riots last night that have been rocking his city for over 50 days. He joined rioters and ended the night bathed in tear gas.
As he approached the scene he was immediately surrounded and interrogated about his intentions on defunding police.
A man in a bike helmet asks "what are you gonna do about qualified immunity?" Right before another man dumps out a bag full of trash at his feet. Those who had been walking with him appear to oppose this move.
As he walked into the crowd, the sounds of drumming and chanting are heard, as they cursed him. Voices can be heard screaming "F*** Ted Wheeler," and calling for his resignation.
He tried to speak to the crowd, his back literally against a wall, but could not be heard over the sound of people screaming "He doesn’t deserve to speak. He’s a f***ing fascist."
Even with a mic, the only voices that can be heard are the indistinguishable voices of the mob chanting and yelling, "tear gas Ted has got to go."
He was asked about his position on federal law enforcement officers who have been deployed to the city to control the very mob that he is unable to appease. Wheeler was asked what he is doing to protect Portlandians against the federal agents.
He said 'I am doing everything in my power get them to leave. And what that means specifically is I have been raising the alarm nationally, I have national tv crews, talking to people about what is happening in the city, and they [shouldn’t] sit back and watch what’s happening in Portland because it will come to a city near them next. The next thing we’re doing is using the tools of the law. The attorney general, the city attorneys…" He said, before being drowned out by cursing and screaming.
Wheeler would not commit to abolishing police. And the crowd of lawless rioters were displeased by this. He was met by a barrage of booing and additional cursing.
The mob’s demands were projected onto the building behind Wheeler. They are "1. Defund the PPB by 50 percent at least and reinvest in the communities, especially the black community. 2. Free all protesters from jail. 3. Feds out of Portland Now. 4. You, Ted Wheeler, need to resign."
While he tried to appease the crowd, the nightly pyrotechnics began in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse. Rioters set fires at the courthouse.
Wheeler went to the front lines of that confrontation that has becoming a recurring occurrence, and experienced for himself the danger of being where law enforcement tells you not to be—he was tear gassed, along with the rest of the crowd.
Coughing and spluttering, Wheeler left the area.
On his way out, a group of people turned their leaf blowers on him.
Wheeler, who also serves as police chief, is not the only leftist, Democrat mayor who has tried to quell the concerns of protestors by sanctioning them and trying to bend the city to the will of the mob.
By the end of the night, the crowd turned on each other.
Federal officers, holed up inside the courthouse, have been under attack since they arrived late last week. They have made some arrests, and have been accused of being secret police by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Portland has been the scene of violent protests for more than 50 days. Federal and city buildings have come under attack. Rule of law has been violated. And the nightly mob scenes are peopled by those who demand more violence, not less.
The protests that began as a means to advocate against brutality have now become about removing the laws, leaders, and social compromises that have kept American cities peaceful, safe places to live.