Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Proposed Ordering Police to “Stand Down” During ANTIFA Riots
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed ordering the Portland Police to “stand down” during the rise in violent left-wing riots in the city in late July, when rioters shifted away from the Hatfield Federal Courthouse to the county jail and Portland Police buildings.
Wheeler had texted a top aide, Sonia Schmanski, arguing that the plan was “high risk” but claiming that the city had “nothing to lose.” Wheeler’s assessment of the situation differs considerably with the eyewitness accounts of Portland small businesses and community members, who have suffered tens of millions of dollars in property damages as a result of the riots.
The left-wing mayor was ultimately convinced that removing the police from the riots would be a bad idea, when he was reminded that the ANTIFA militants were beginning to target buildings that were in residential neighborhoods.
“I was persuaded that a complete withdrawal, even for one evening to test the ability to completely deescalate the situation, would be a risk that was too great,” he said in an interview last week. “We could not risk the people who were in the immediate vicinity.”
Wheeler had previously claimed that the violent riots were only the result of the federal law enforcement securing the Hatfield courthouse. The ongoing operations of Portland Police to contain criminal activity all but disprove his earlier solution, with ANTIFA militants continuing to engage in criminal activity on a nightly basis.
Portland District Attorney Mike Schmidt has pledged to drop any and all criminal charges against the overwhelming majority of rioters arrested by the Portland police, creating a de facto immunity for ANTIFA to commit a wide range of misdemeanor and felony offenses on a nightly basis. The Oregon State Police withdrew from the chaotic city shortly after Schmidt’s announcement, having lost faith in the judicial system to appropriately prosecute riot crimes.