Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) expressed his disapproval on Thursday of the continuing riots his city is experiencing after rioters and agitators are no longer targeting the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in the downtown area. He warned the rioters are playing right into the hands of President Trump's campaign.
Wheeler, along with Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, condemned the riot that took place outside of the Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct on Wendsday evening, where rioters attempted to set fire to the building after barricading the exits.
"I believe that city staff could have died last night. I can not and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he believes Portlanders do not want to see buildings being burned and city employees being killed.
"Don’t think for a moment that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are," he concluded at the end of the briefing. "You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up."
Wheeler's pleas fell on deaf ears as rioters again showed up to the East Precinct again on Thursday night. Since the East Precinct is closer to residential neighborhoods, some residents tried to stop the criminal activity, but were harassed and attacked.
Portland Police said rioters defaced and tried to destroy the Precinct's surveillance cameras and projectiles were thrown at the building. Police eventually moved after they gave warnings to the crowd to stop. While unclear exactly how many, multiple arrests were made.