PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Wheeler called for an end to violence and property destruction after a group damaged businesses in the Pearl District over the weekend.
City leaders and elected officials joined Wheeler in the call for peace during a press conference on Monday.
“As Multnomah County Sheriff I support calls by Mayor Wheeler and other leaders – the violence must end,” Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said.
Responding to these events pulls away from public safety, Reese said.
“We continue to support Portland Police Bureau and other law enforcement partners to respond to these acts of violence,” Reese said.
“They’re not going to get away with it,” Wheeler said. He said he has tried to organize meetings with some of the groups but they have refused.
Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said the group on Friday was the same group that they have encountered before. He said the group broke windows before they decided to detain them.
“We decided at that point not to wait until there was more widespread destruction before we took action,” he said.
Officers detained around 100 people in a block in a controversial tactic known as “kettling.”
Wheeler expressed support for PPB using the kettling tactic.
“That tactic was used successfully, it was used peacefully and ended what could have been further criminal destruction in the city of Portland,” he said.
But some argue that the tactic is unconstitutional and chills free speech.
Members of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, CAIR-Oregon and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon are calling for an investigation into Portland Police Bureau’s use of a “kettling” tactic.
In a group statement, the groups described kettling as an “aggressive and indiscriminate police tactic.”
Former State Sen. Margaret Carter said she supports peaceful marchers but doesn’t agree with the destruction.
“I ask you to cease and desist immediately from your acts of violence in our great city,” Carter said.
Former State Sen. Avel Gordly also spoke out against the violence.
“I want to say that speaking as an elder and life long Portlander of 74 years, all the violence, the gun play, the anarchist behavior and lawlessness in our streets is disturbing everyones peace,” Gordly said.
“Let’s walk together as one Portland to show the country how we stand for humanity,” Former Portland Trail Blazer Terry Porter said.