The mayor of Portland has admitted that his policies meant to plug violence caused by Antifa anarchists in the city have failed and he’s now committing to more action against such “lawlessness” as he called for federal and state assistance.
“My good-faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on New Year’s Day.
“In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and to push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”
The mayor’s remark came as Antifa trashed and rioted in Portland once again on New Year’s eve which caused “tens of thousands of dollars and property damage” as members of the anarchist group looted and set stores on fire while launching multiple fireworks and Molotov cocktails at downtown businesses district and the federal courthouse.
“It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community and to take more risks in fighting lawlessness,” Mayor Wheeler continued.
Critics of the local official have been calling out the city’s lax approach to dealing with the riots and violence in the city — including the dismissal of 90% of riot-related charges in September alone. Breitbart News also reported that between May and September, local prosecutors have dropped 70% of these protest and violence-related charges.
Portland calls for help to address Antifa violence
As part of his New Year’s message, however, the local official, who has been blamed for allowing riots to run rampant in the city, said the city will now push back harder to end these violence — after the rampant destruction.
Mayor Wheeler announced his new three-prong approach to dealing with Antifa: calling upon federal and state enforcement for assistance; imposing higher penalties for offenders; and requiring those convicted of violence to do “public service.”
“I’m calling on our federal, our state, our county and our local law enforcement partners to convene with me to develop clear plans to address anarchist violence,” he said, as he called on the state legislature “to increase penalties for people who repeatedly commit criminal destruction and vandalism.”
“We need to look at reforms that would improve our ability to video record and otherwise gather intelligence on these small groups of organized criminals,” he added, noting that “people convicted of criminal destruction should [also] be required to meet the employees and owners of the businesses that they damaged.”
In December, reports noted how the Portland mayor apologized to the anti-eviction anarchists who built an autonomous zone around a foreclosed house to stop law enforcement from evicting occupants.
“I hope it is not an ongoing phenomenon,” Wheeler said then. “Our objective is to protect lives and end the occupation. And nobody should take this as an invitation to do it anywhere else. The end result could turn out very differently.”
City of Portland Bends the Knee to Occupiers of Red House Autonomous Zone https://t.co/5TodiS3ZkB
— T (@Rifleman4WVU) December 15, 2020
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) December 15, 2020
Meanwhile, the Portland Mayor lamented on New Year’s Day how “a group of largely white, young and some middle-aged men, from all reports, destroy the livelihood of other people who are struggling to get by.”
“It’s the height of selfishness,” he said. “There are just some people who want to watch the world burn. That’s what we’re up against here.”
Police Chief Chuck Lovell said separately that law enforcement officers — who have been subjected to calls for budget cut — were attacked during the latest riot.
“Last night was extremely challenging for our officers. A group of officers came under attack. It was a very violent, very large confrontation and the group met them with Molotov cocktails, rocks, bricks, frozen water bottles,” Lovell said.
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese also condemned the violence.
“It was reprehensible violence that occurred last night, and we’re going to do everything we can to hold the people responsible,” he said.
Source: The Scoop