Wheeler, Hardesty call for Homeland Security ‘cease fire’

2020 Protests

Portland leaders want meeting with DHS leaders in Portland, DC

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.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on July 21, 2020 (KOIN)

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.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler reacts after being exposed to tear gas fired by federal officers while attending a protest against police brutality and racial injustice in front of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 22, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

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.

A federal officer stands by a police vehicle during a Black Lives Matter protest early Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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.

Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather

App

Download our FREE news and weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our email newsletters.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Twitter News Widget

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss