‘Remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence…’
Antifa has planned another series of protests and counter protests, and Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a strong warning to “extremists from across the political spectrum.”
“Hear me when I say this,” Wheeler said, according to The Oregonian. “To those people planning to come and inflict violence in our city, we don’t want you here. This is why I’ve directed and empowered the Portland Police Bureau to use whatever means necessary, and to amass whatever resources necessary to ensure public safety and to uphold the law.”
Wheeler has been under fire for refusing to stand up to Antifa while allowing the group to harass local residents, a conservative journalist and Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, among others.
“It’s time for our Mayor to do two things,” Police union president Daryl Turner wrote in an open letter to Wheeler. “Tell both Antifa and Proud Boys that our City will not accept violence in our City and remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action. Enough is enough.”
Turner and other law enforcement officials have called on state lawmakers to pass anti-mask laws so Antifa members can’t commit acts of violence anonymously. But Wheeler hasn’t supported these kinds of measures and still refuses to condemn the group by name.
Wheeler hasn’t said what kind of preventative measures Portland police are going to take against Antifa, but he did suggest that he will reach out to the National Guard for assistance if necessary.
“Don’t come. We don’t want you here. I don’t care what side you’re on,” Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said, adding that coordinating with the National Guard is definitely on the table.
“We’d be remiss in our duties in planning if we didn’t at least consider it,” she said.