anti-racism protests

Portland mayor teargassed at protest against federal crackdown

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Portland mayor teargassed at protest against federal crackdown

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 21: Federal officers walk through tear gas while dispersing a crowd of about a thousand people during a protest at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 21, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. State and city elected officials have called for the federal officers to leave Portland as clashes between protesters and federal police continue to escalate. Nathan Howard/Getty Images/AFP

Nathan Howard

Footage shows Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler wearing goggles and a face mask and being led away from a crowd amid clouds of gas and fireworks exploding nearby

The mayor of Portland was teargassed Wednesday, July 22, as he met with demonstrators protesting against police brutality and the deployment of federal troops into US cities ordered by President Donald Trump.

AFP footage showed Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler wearing goggles and a facemask and being led away from a crowd amid clouds of gas and fireworks exploding nearby.

“This is an egregious overreaction on the part of the federal officers,” Wheeler told the New York Times.

“This is flat-out urban warfare.”

Thousands of protestors took to the streets Wednesday night, according to NBC affiliate KGW8, in the latest round of protests that were initially sparked by the killing in May of African-American George Floyd.

This is flat-out urban warfare.

Ted Wheeler, mayor of Portland

The city’s police department said protestors had thrown flares and incendiary devices into the federal courthouse, causing small fires in the compound.

It later declared a state of riot in the area outside the Justice Center and ordered protesters to disperse immediately.

Earlier protests in Portland – and much of the United States – to denounce racism and police brutality following the death of Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, began losing steam at the start of July.

But then reports emerged of camouflaged federal officers snatching Portland protestors in unmarked vehicles.

Now the demonstrations have ramped up, with thousands showing up daily to face off against police well into the night.

Wheeler has previously called for the withdrawal of federal officers from the northwestern US city, accusing them of dangerously escalating the situation with abusive and unconstitutional tactics against protestors. – Rappler.com