Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler tried to answer critics in a statement after the violence from Antifa protesters against journalist Andy Ngo on Saturday, but he was met with a scorching response.
"Portland has always been a beacon of free speech. We are proud of that history," said Wheeler. "But in the last couple of years, some have increasingly used their opportunity to exercise their 1st amendment rights, as an opportunity to incite violence."
Portland has always been a beacon of free speech. We are proud of that history.— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@Mayor Ted Wheeler)1562009070.0
"Over the weekend some chose to engage in violence in Portland, which is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," he continued.
"We stand against all forms of violence - regardless of someone's political leanings. Portland police officers have the unenviable task of keeping the peace. It's a difficult job and hard decisions are made in real-time," Wheeler added.
"While we continue to learn more about what transpired over the weekend, we will keep you informed," he concluded. "We will do everything we can to make sure that those who have committed violence are held accountable."
Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner condemned the violence but demanded that Mayor Wheeler allow police to do their jobs.
"Where are the voices condemning the lawlessness and violence?" Turner asked in a statement. "If this violence had been directed at Antifa, there would have been an immediate call for an independent, outside investigation. This is a perfect example of Portland politics at work and why our great City is now under fire in the national news.
"It's our job to ensure that our community can peacefully protest without fear of violence but right now our hands are tied," he added later in the statement.
"It's time for our Mayor to do two things: tell both ANTIFA and Proud Boys that our City will not accept violence in our City and remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action," Turner concluded. "Enough is enough."
On Monday, Ngo's lawyer issued a wanting to the Antifa provocateurs who attacked his client, while putting the blame on city government leaders.
"Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there," Dhillon said in a tweet, "not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government."
Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studio… https://t.co/1qaPqbBk46— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@Harmeet K. Dhillon)1561966731.0
Here's the latest on the Antifa attack in Portland:
Antifascist mob goes FULL fascist in Portland www.youtube.com