PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty called out Mayor Ted Wheeler Saturday on Twitter saying he continues to deny law enforcement’s role in the city’s unrest.
In taking her message a step further, she demanded action from Wheeler immediately and declared, “if you can’t control the police, give me the Portland Police Bureau.”
“We need you to be better,” she said in a series of tweets. “We need you to stop denying the violence being perpetrated by our own police force and make it clear and unambiguous: Portland police are direted from the top to never collaborate with 45’s goon squad, to take off their riot gear, and to stop contributing to the violence that was occurring before the feds arrived and still continues night after night.”
Hardesty’s anger with Wheeler comes as Portland has logged 50 straight nights of protests as a response to the murder of George Floyd. President Donald Trump has decried the disorder and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted the protesters as “lawless anarchists” in a visit to the city, helping make the clashes between police and demonstrators a national focus.
“I’m sick of writing these statements day after day,” Hardesty’s message said. “We know that Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner met with DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. We know Portland Police are collaborating with this federal occupying force. You are putting our community in danger. You are putting my staff in danger.”
On Friday, Hardesty made a call for federal agents to leave Portland while speaking at a candlelight vigil in front of the Justice Center. She called for a peaceful protest and said Portlanders’ rights to free speech and assembly needed to be protected, and called for an end to the violence “perpetrated against protesters.”
Wheeler shared a statement on Twitter Saturday night where he said federal agency operations would no longer be “allowed to co-locate with the police bureau’s incident command.” However, he did not directly address the comments made by Hardesty.
Read Commissioner Hardesty’s full statement below: