Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference earlier today where he attempted to do damage control in the aftermath of violent attacks conducted by left-wing domestic terrorists in his city over a week ago.
During the press conference, Wheeler directed his ire toward police union president Daryl Turner over “misinformation” that he says he spread in a social media post.
“He crossed a line when he publicly stated in a Facebook message that I was not allowing the police to enforce the law, that gave license to people elsewhere, particularly in right-wing political circles, but, as I say, this became a global phenomenon,” Wheeler said.
“They came back to his message as the proof that I had in fact handcuffed the police during the June 29th demonstration,” he added.
Turner put Wheeler on blast in the aftermath of brutal ANTIFA beatings, which included a vicious assault on journalist Andy Ngo who reportedly suffered a brain bleed as the result of the attacks.
“It’s time for our Mayor to do two things,” Turner wrote in an open letter directed at Wheeler last week. “Tell both ANTIFA and Proud Boys that our City will not accept violence in our City and remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action. Enough is enough.”
“Where are the voices condemning the lawlessness and violence? If this violence had been directed at ANTIFA, there would have been an immediate call for an independent, outside investigation,” Turner wrote on July 1. “This is a perfect example of Portland politics at work and why our great City is now under fire in the national news.”
Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, who was hand-picked by Mayor Wheeler to take the role, backed up the assertions from her boss that he did nothing wrong.
“First and foremost,” she said, “I want to use this opportunity to let everyone know: The mayor never gave us direction to stand down on Saturday, ever.”
Wheeler continued with his denunciation of the police union president’s characterization of his behavior.
“By his releasing that statement, he contributed to the misinformation and the noise. I don’t think he did the police bureau any favors. I don’t think he did the men and women who serve in the police bureau any favors, and he certainly didn’t do me any favors,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler concluded his thought by adding that Turner and he “have a relationship” despite their many differences and ultimately want what is best for the city.
“As I say, we both want the same things. We’re just going to have to find a way to work well together going forward,” he concluded.
Wheeler and Turner have had many run-ins in the past. Turner, an African-American, criticized Wheeler in 2017 for inferring that Portland law enforcement has a racist history in a job posting for a new police chief.
Turner has also claimed that the “livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets,” attributing much of the blame to Wheeler.
He has also blasted Wheeler for refusing to intervene with police during a left-wing occupation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, and called him out for his tolerance of ANTIFA thugs in the past.
“The culture of enablement, restriction of enforcement, criticism of police when we act, and criticism of police when we don’t act, along with an over-emphasis on de-escalation and disengagement has led us to our present, unacceptable situation,” Turner said in a statement.
Wheeler seems unfazed by the many criticisms of his stewardship over Portland, and offered little other than trite lip service during today’s press conference.
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