PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS) — After a summer of unrest and with the general election just over a week away, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said an announcement is expected on specific interagency plans for addressing potential election-related violence and unrest.
During his press conference on Monday, in which he also fielded questions about houselessness concerns in the city amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Wheeler said it was important for agencies to compromise in order to ensure “a solid mutual aid agreement” ahead of Nov. 3.
“Everything is on the table in these discussions, from the use of crowd dispersal techniques to the question of federal deputization, to the role of state versus county versus local law enforcement,” he said.
The plan is expected to be released in the next day or two, Wheeler said.
In Portland alone, nearly 150 nights of demonstrations have taken place since the killing of George Floyd, with riots being declared and arrests made after incidents such as water bottles being thrown at law enforcement officers to fires being set by demonstrators. The protests in Portland made national headlines in July when federal agents became involved in confronting demonstrators as a result of an executive order from President Donald Trump.
Oregon was recently named one of five states at the highest risk of increased militia activity in the election and post-election period, according to a report which reviews the latest data on right-wing militia organizations across the country.
Groups described as militias that have been active in Oregon since the beginning of the summer include Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, III%ers, Boogaloo Bois and Sons of Liberty, according to the report.
During the first presidential debate, Trump remarked the Proud Boys should “stand back, stand by” after being asked by moderator Chris Wallace about whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and paramilitary groups.
“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”
When pressed further, Trump said, “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”
Finally, he said, “Proud Boys — Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem … This is a left-wing problem.”
Antifa followers have appeared at anti-racism protests, where riots have been declared after