Portland Mayor Tear Gassed During Protests, Says ‘Nothing’ Provoked Officers

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Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon was tear gassed Wednesday night while he was at the federal courthouse speaking with protesters, according to a video shared on Twitter.

“I’m not gonna lie, it stings, it’s hard to breathe,” Wheeler said in a video tweeted by reporter Mike Baker of The New York Times. “Man, uh, I can tell you with 100% honesty, I saw nothing that provoked this response. It’s absolutely stunning. I’m not afraid, but I am pissed off,” Wheeler said in the video.

Wheeler was tear-gassed while trying to talk with protesters at the federal courthouse, according to the tweet thread posted by Baker. (Related: EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS: Portland Rioters Break Down Fencing At Federal Courthouse As Officers Respond En Masse)

Reporter Andy Ngo tweeted that the building near where Wheeler was standing “had been set on fire and rioters were throwing explosives.”

Someone threw a water bottle at Wheeler while he was pushed around and protesters screamed at him, freelance journalist Sergio Olmos posted on Twitter. The protesters yelled various profanities at Wheeler, including, “You’re a fucking coward!” and “Get the fuck out of here!”

After Wheeler left, the police called the protests an official riot, Olmos tweeted.

Wheeler joined the demonstrators with several guards around him, Ngo tweeted. “Ash from the arson, smoke and tear gas fill the air. He has at least four body guards protecting him,” Ngo said on Twitter.

“I want to thank the thousands of you who have come out to oppose the Trump administration’s occupation of this city,” Wheeler told the protesters, according to the Associated Press.

“The reason this is important is it is not just happening in Portland … we’re on the front line here in Portland,” Wheeler said.

President Donald Trump has been criticized for sending federal agents to stop protests in major cities, including Chicago, according to MSNBC. Wednesday marked the 56th night in a row of protests in Portland, Oregon Live reported.

Cities across the country have seen demonstrations turn violent in the protests against police brutality and racial inequality that have followed the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, video of the incident showed.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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