Wheeler: Portland has no jurisdiction over federal officers

2020 Protests

Mayor Wheeler said he does not have the jurisdiction to order feds out

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell addressed a recent uptick in shootings in homicides in recent weeks during a press conference on Monday, as well as the presence of federal officers in the city.

Wheeler and Lovell addressed weekend protests that saw federal officers wound protester Donovan LaBella. Wheeler said he wants the officers held accountable. He said he does not have the jurisdiction to order them to leave.

“I want them to deescalate the situation, not add to an already highly volatile situation,” he said.

Lovell reiterated that federal authorities are operating under different command chains.

“We communicate with them, mostly to deconflict activities, because we’re operating in close proximity to each other,” Lovell said. “They do operate under their command and control structure. The Portland Police Bureau does not dictate any of their practices,” he said.

Witnesses said Donavan Labella was hit in the head with some sort of munition from federal officers that left him bleeding on the ground across the street from the courthouse around 10 p.m. Saturday.

Oregon’s elected leaders — Gov. Kate Brown, Sen. Ron Wyden, Mayor Wheeler and others — all denounced the actions of the federal officers and laid the blame on President Trump’s decision to deploy these officers to Portland.

In a Sunday statement, Wheeler said he spoke with US Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams and said the US Marshals service will conduct a thorough investigation.

“I’m asking for your help, the public’s help. If you have information about one of these crimes please share it with us,” Mayor Wheeler said. “We’re in a time of great challenge, we all know that. But together we can and we will address this public health and public safety threat,” he said.

The homicides

Beyond the protests, it was a violent few days in Portland.

Statistics show there has been a 380% increase in shootings over the past year and this weekend saw a number of homicides.

“Each of these numbers represents a human being, we must not lose sight of that,” Chief Lovell said. “5 victims of homicide within 24 hours is staggering.”

Lovell said the bureau does not know what is causing the uptick in violence.

And though no one died in these incidents, bullets were fired:

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