PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the Portland Police Bureau to stop using CS gas for crowd control during protests.
Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, said “effective immediately and until further notice, I am directing the Portland Police to end the use of CS gas for crowd control.”
Repeatedly during the 104 days of protests in Portland, CS gas — better known as tear gas — has been used by PPB, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police “where there is a threat to life safety,” he said. “We need something different. We need it now.”
But that doesn’t mean Wheeler wants police and the justice system to to stand back in the face of ongoing violence.
“I expect the police to arrest people who engage in criminal acts. I expect the District Attorney to prosecute those who commit criminal acts. And I expect the rest of the criminal justice system to hold those individuals accountable. We must stand together as a community against violence and for progress.
“I call on everyone to step up and tamp down the violence. I’m acting. It’s time for others to join me.”
Officers placed on desk duty over misconduct allegations
The Associated Press reports city officials say at least three Portland police officers have been removed from patrol and protest duties while investigations proceed into whether they engaged in misconduct against protesters.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Wheeler ordered officers be placed on administrative duty starting last week, including one seen on video tackling and repeatedly punching a protester in the face. Wheeler’s chief of staff Kristin Dennis said she didn’t know exactly how many officers are on desk duty.
Additionally, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said nine more protesters have been charged in connection with alleged criminal activity during the protests.