PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty want “an immediate meeting” with Homeland Security leaders to “discuss a cease-fire and removal” of the federal officers from Portland.
The information came from Wheeler’s office late Monday afternoon. Wheeler also announced he would hold a press conference Tuesday “to discuss the ongoing tensions in Portland,” but his office postponed it later due to scheduling conflicts.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf joined CBS This Morning last Thursday to discuss the federal presence in Portland.
In his interview, Wolf accused Wheeler of supporting violent protesters.
That was the morning after Wheeler was tear gassed by the U.S. government late Wednesday as he stood at a fence guarding a federal courthouse during another night of protest against the presence of federal agents sent by President Donald Trump to quell unrest in the city.
Wheeler said it was the first time he’d been tear gassed and appeared slightly dazed and coughed as he put on a pair of goggles someone handed him and drank water. He didn’t leave his spot at the front, however, and continued to take gas. Around Wheeler, the protest raged, with demonstrators lighting a large fire in the space between the fence and the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and the pop-pop-pop of federal agents deploying tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd.
On Monday, US Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams said unequivocally that as long as the protests and attacks on the Hatfield Courthouse continue, the federal officers aren’t going anywhere.
Assistant US Attorney Craig Gabriel said on Saturday that since early July, 60 people have been detained or arrested in relation to protests near the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse. Of those who were arrested, there is prosecution pending against 46 people. Williams’ office announced Monday another 22 were arrested in the July 23-27 period.
Last week a federal judge denied a lawsuit filed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum seeking a temporary restraining order against federal officers in Portland.
In court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman found the state of Oregon “lacks standing” in its attempt to limit federal agents’ efforts in the state’s most populous city.
The attorney general’s restraining order request sought restrictions, such as requiring federal officers to identify themselves before making an arrest and explain to a person why they were being detained. It also sought to block any arrests that lacked probable cause.
Another lawsuit filed on Monday Wolf and U.S. Attorney General William Barr among other defendants, and alleges President Trump consulted with Barr and Wolf to use the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing “as an opportunity to use federal forces — not to defend civil rights, but to quell the protests.”
“President Trump’s response to the civil rights protests, and specifically his insistence that they be shut down, stands in sharp contrast to his response to anti-quarantine protesters earlier this year,” the lawsuit stated.