The mayor of Portland, Oregon, was tear gassed alongside protesters outside a federal courthouse on Wednesday night, according to The Hill.
- Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) could be seen on video coughing and grabbing a pair of goggles “as a haze of gas overwhelmed a crowd that was protesting behind a fence located in front of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse.”
- Wheeler reportedly did not leave after the tear gas was dispersed.
- He told a New York Times reporter on site, "I’m not afraid, but I am pissed off. This is an egregious overreaction on the part of the federal officers."
- The mayor said protesters had done nothing to provoke the response from federal agents.
"This is not a de-escalation strategy. This is flat-out urban warfare," Wheeler said. "And it's being wrought on the people of this country by the president of the United States and it's got to stop."
- Wheeler had addressed the crowd of protesters earlier in the evening, according to the report, but not all were pleased by his presence.
Some threw rocks at the mayor and called for him to resign, while others chanted “Tear Gas Teddy.” He also faced jeers from the crowd after declining to make a pledge to defund the police, a popular demand that has gained traction in nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
- The Portland Police Department said some protesters lit fireworks during Wheeler’s address and people “began throwing flammables and ‘other incendiaries’ over a fence located on the west side of the courthouse following the mayor's speech.”
- The police declared a riot early Thursday morning but no arrests were made.