Portland, OR – Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler complained on Thursday afternoon that rioters are helping President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign by trying to murder law enforcement officers.
Wheeler’s comments came on the heels of the rioters barricading the front doors of the occupied Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) East Precinct and attempting to burn the building down on Aug. 5.
The mob used plywood and an accelerant to start a blaze outside the front doors of the occupied precinct.
Over 20 officers and civilian employees were inside the building at the time, FOX News reported.
“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Wheeler pointed out during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, according to FOX News.
But the mayor seemed to be more concerned about President Trump being reelected than he was about the potential murder of law enforcement officers and citizens.
“Don’t think for a moment that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” Wheeler admonished. “You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”
The mayor acknowledged that people could have been killed in the attack.
“I believe that city staff could have died last night,” Wheeler said, according to FOX News. “I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms.”
Wheeler said that the riots have been “distracting from reform, not advancing” such efforts.
He urged citizens to “stay away” from areas where the riots are occurring if they “don’t want to be a part of intentional violence,” FOX News reported.
“Our community must say that this violence is not Portland, that these actions do not reflect our values,” he added.
Wheeler said he believes the attacks on public buildings area far from over, and said he will permit police to do whatever they need to in order to counter such attacks – as long as their actions don’t potentially harm peaceful protesters, FOX News reported.
In addition to attempting to burn down the occupied precinct on Wednesday night, rioters also attacked officers with commercial grade fireworks and various other projectiles, the PPB said in a press release.
The officers ultimately deployed crowd control munitions and CS gas to help break the riot up.
That’s when several officers were nearly run down by a rioter behind the wheel of a truck, according to the PPB.
Police were attacked with “heavy rocks the size of shot puts,” in addition to other projectiles, according to the department.
“Some of these rocks successfully hit officers,” the PPB said.
Eight people were arrested during the overnight mayhem.
Shortly after Wheeler issued his warning that the riots will bolster President Trump’s reelection campaign on Thursday night, hundreds of people showed up at the PPB East Precinct and tried to burn it down again.
They also attacked police with commercial grade fireworks, large rocks, bottles, and paint, confronted elderly residents, severely injured a Portland police officer, and threw large rebar ties into the street to puncture and destroy patrol vehicle tires, the PPB said in a press release.
Several members of the mob had the word “press” affixed to their clothing, according to police.
Government officials and numerous media outlets originally claimed that the violence in downtown Portland had stopped after the Oregon Governor Kate Brown finally agreed to allow the Oregon State Police and the PPB to help protect federal properties in the city instead of leaving federal officers to handle the rioters.
But with the diminished visibility of federal police, the mobs have turned their attention towards attacking city and state officers.
Thursday night marked the 70th consecutive night of rioting in Portland, according to The Oregonian.