Portland mayor calls protest arson ‘attempted murder’ as video surfaces of elderly assault
The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler (D), after months of denying the violent intent of protesters occupying an area downtown, last night called an arson attempt at the city’s East police precinct, “attempted murder,” as videos on social media show the alleged arsonists attacking an elderly woman putting out a fire.
“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people that you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating. You are attempting to commit murder,” Wheeler said, finally coming around to the Trump administration’s view that a crime is a crime, no matter the political views of the perpetrators.
Wheeler condemned the violence after videos appeared on social media of fires being started by protesters outside the precinct and attempts being made to break into the police station.
Video also shows protesters attacking an elderly woman outside the precinct who was trying to put out a fire with a small extinguisher.
“We have people who are intentionally planning to go out and attack precincts,” said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “These senseless attempts to injure officers and destroy police facilities are reprehensible and need to stop.”
“I feel that lives hang in the balance,” he added.
Previously, the Trump administration mobilized federal agents to combat the violence but withdrew the federal police when local officials such as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Wheeler agreed to uphold the laws against violent protests.
Still, local TV station KGW8 went out of its way to say that protests have been peaceful, even after this latest incident, and condemned the “200” or so protesters who are violent night after night as the main cause of the trouble.
“Portland’s protests and rallies have mostly been peaceful, with thousands of people gathering in downtown Portland to chant, listen to speakers and call for change,” said the TV station.
“There has also been a small group, usually of 200 people or fewer, who have gathered late each night outside the Justice Center, federal courthouse, and Portland police precinct and union buildings. They’ve smashed windows, lit fires, and thrown objects at officers, including fireworks, rocks and bricks,” it concluded.
In July, Wheeler described the deployment of federal agents as an occupation, saying the feds’ attempt at arresting the 200 protesters that KGW8 tagged as causing the violence was a distraction from the Black voices yearning to be heard.
“The daily coverage of their actions [arresting protesters] has distracted our community from the Black voices at the center of this movement, and the urgent work of reform. I appreciate Governor Brown’s leadership in this discussion and her willingness to step in with State resources,” Wheeler said.
Let the reform continue.
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