PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told KOIN 6 News he believes stiffer penalties are coming to hold rioters accountable and said part of that is because there are new City Council members who support his get-tougher plan.
On New Year’s Eve, jewelry stores, a bank, a wine bar and 2 Starbucks were among the businesses damaged by rioters the mayor said were “antifa anarchists.”
So far, 3 people were arrested from the group of about 100 people who threw Molotov cocktails and launched commercial grade fireworks at both the Justice Center and the federal courthouse.
The 2021 City Council only has 2 holdovers: Wheeler and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Three newcomers — Mingus Mapps, Dan Ryan and Carmen Rubio — bring new voices and vision to city leadership.
“I’m tired of standing alone,” Wheeler said. “Now I have a unified council thanks to the people of this great city. They agree with me we need accountability, responsibility and we need to arrest and hold these individuals accountable.”
On Friday, Mayor Wheeler blasted those behind the New Year’s Eve riot in downtown Portland saying “My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical antifa and anarchists. 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.”
Wheeler joined AM Extra Monday to talk more in-depth about his plans for quelling the ongoing criminal violence happening in downtown Portland, including adjusting the legal ramifications for engaging in such activity.
Watch the full interview below
“I’ve called on the legislature to make the penalties much stronger for those engaged in repeated acts of violence and criminal destruction,” Wheeler said Monday. “If this is the fourth, or fifth, or sixth time [a person has committed a crime] in the last six months, then I believe the penalty should be much stiffer than they are currently.”
The mayor said he intends to bring together local, state and federal law enforcement for a meeting, perhaps this week, to come up with an action plan to deal with, in his words, “violent antifa and anarchists.”
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who completed the final few months of Rod Underhill’s term at the end of 2020, was officially sworn into office Monday.
Schmidt has dropped hundreds of cases against protesters — however, the district attorney’s office has prosecuted 149 criminal cases resulting from mass demonstrations between May 28 and December 28, 2020. The majority of those cases are personal crimes, property crimes, and public order crimes.
For previous editions of Mayor Monday, head here.