President Donald Trump blamed elected officials in Oregon for more than two months of riots and protests and said they should activate the National Guard to secure the safety of their citizens.
“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
“The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible,” the president added.
“The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!”
Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard. The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible. The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Trump’s tweet came after another weekend of unrest in the city.
While protests, riots and assaults on officers have been ongoing since May, when George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, a riot on Saturday deviated away from the city’s downtown area.
Video shared online by journalist Andy Ngo showed citizens in the city being verbally assailed by a group of protesters.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
“We’re gonna burn your building down”
“We know where you live”
As #antifa have taken to Portland residential areas to riot, they’ve also assaulted & intimidated residents there. Tonight, they threatened those who looked out the window. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/1qiIOLk99j
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 9, 2020
In the video Ngo shared, protesters threatened to burn down a residential building apparently full of people inside their homes.
Police later announced that the group of demonstrators vandalized a police union building.
They reportedly ripped off barricades around the building and set a fire inside of the Portland Police Association building.
Despite more than two months of civil unrest, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has sided with those protesting and in some cases engaging in violence.
Wheeler joined activists in the streets last month amid a nightly campaign to destroy the city’s federal building.
The Democrat previously made it clear that he felt federal law enforcement officers who were guarding the building were the cause of the violence.
The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
Many officers have been targeted by projectiles and laser pointers.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also blamed law enforcement officers for the violence in her state’s largest city last month. The Democrat told NPR that the presence of federal officers in Portland attempting to prevent the destruction of property contributed to unrest.
“I was very, very clear with the Trump administration and the head of the Homeland Security to take their federal troops off the streets of Portland,” she told the outlet in an interview.
“The Trump administration needs to stop playing politics with people’s lives. We don’t have a secret police in this country. This is not a dictatorship. And Trump needs to get his officers off the streets,” she said after rioters were detained by federal authorities.
Brown further claimed that federal officers are “inappropriately trained,” and added, “And frankly, they’re exacerbating an already challenging situation.”
The governor did agree to send in 50 Oregon National Guard troops to Portland in June, the Oregonian reported.
But comments from her and Wheeler have done little to dispel a notion that Oregon’s leaders have allowed lawlessness to rule for nearly three months in the city, with no apparent end in sight.
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