Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called for an end to to the violence in his city after rioters vandalized a federal courthouse.
“The community is sick and tired of people engaging in criminal destruction and violence and doing it under the guise of some noble cause,” Wheeler told reporters. Portland police reinstalled fencing around the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in response to riots, less than a week after barricades were removed.
Riots have continued in the city for nine months. Some rioters smashed windows and assaulted police at the courthouse, AP reported. The federal government has spent more than $1.5 million on repairs to the courthouse, the Associated Press reported.
After about 100 people smashed windows and blocked streets in downtown Portland, police used a kettle tactic to arrest rioters, according to the AP. Kettling allows police to surround crowds and prevent crowds from dispersing. Many civil rights activists and lawyers have criticized the practice, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. (RELATED: Police Used A Legally Dubious Tactic In Louisville, And I Found Myself Caught In The Middle Of It. Here’s What Happened…)
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 15, 2021
Portland assistant police chief Chris Davis defended the arrests. “This was a group of people who have come to believe that they are entitled to damage other people’s property, threaten community members and assault police officers,” he said. At least 13 people were charged with crimes.
Wheeler requested a one-time cash infusion of $2 million for the Portland Police Department on March 12. Portland’s murder rate sky-rocketed after the city council cut $16 million from the police budget