The Democrat mayor of Portland, Oregon, appears to have had a change of heart about the “anarchists” and rioters who have been ravaging his city for months on end.
Ted Wheeler broke down and relented at a Friday presser that he needs to “push back harder” against those wreaking havoc in Portland. According to Fox News, violence has been a regular occurrence there for months in the wake of allegations of police brutality that prompted protesters to hit the streets across the country last summer.
Another riot plagued Portland on New Year’s Eve, Fox said, and the next day, Wheeler finally promised to do something about it.
“Lawlessness and anarchy come at great expense and great risk to the future of our community,” he told reporters. “It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community, and take more risks fighting lawlessness.”
The comments mark a big change for Wheeler, who, instead of dealing with the riots when he should have, spent much of his time last summer railing against the federal law enforcement officers that President Donald Trump sent in to protect federal property.
In July, Wheeler said Portland did “not need or want their help,” Fox reported, and the Democrat condemned “the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use.”
At one point, he even attempted to join the protesters — although many made it clear that they did not support him.
Better late than never
It took half a year, but it seems Wheeler has finally learned his lesson. In December, the mayor authorized local police to use “all lawful means” necessary to end the so-called autonomous zone set up by demonstrators, and now, he’s doubling down.
“My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” Wheeler said Friday, according to Portland’s KOIN 6 News.
“In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end,” he said.
Among those “additional tools” are law enforcement resources from the federal, state, county, and local governments, who Wheeler said he’d “convene to deal with anarchist violence…as soon as possible,” according to KOIN.
Wheeler also wants these rioters to face increased penalties for repeat offenses, KOIN reports, and be forced to complete community service. But perhaps if the mayor had just let Trump help him from the start, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad in Portland in the first place.