Posted on September 1, 2020

March to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Home Declared Riot Monday as Burning Debris Thrown into Building

Jamie Hale and Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian, September 1, 2020

More than 200 people on Monday night marched to the Pearl District condominium tower where Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lives to demand his resignation.

The demonstration quickly turned destructive as some in the crowd lit a fire in the street, then placed a picnic table from a nearby business on top of the fire to feed the blaze. People shattered windows and broke into a ground-floor dental office took items including a chair, also added to the fire, and office supplies.

Shortly after 11 p.m., a bundle of newspapers was set ablaze and thrown into a ground-floor storefront in the residential building.

Around the same time, police arrived and warned over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared an unlawful assembly, then a riot. Officers ordered people to leave to the west.

The 16-story building contains 114 residences — but the fire didn’t appear to spread and was quickly extinguished. Police used crowd-control munitions and released smoke into the air as they pushed the crowd west.

They ultimately arrested nearly 20 people. Police later said arson investigators were looking for the person who started the fire.

The demonstration came during the 96th consecutive night of protests since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police {snip}


Left-wing activists have long expressed dissatisfaction over a perceived lack of action from Wheeler in enacting police reforms, as well as for his role as police commissioner in overseeing forceful responses to anti-police protests.

A group of leaders representing various progressive organizations from across the Portland area called for his resignation on Sunday, along with that of Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. {snip}


ARRESTS: Police arrested 19 people during the demonstration — 10 fewer than the night before but still a high concentration of the over 200 people in attendance.


Two are accused of carrying concealed weapons, and one of those people is also accused of trying to assault an officer. Another two face first-degree criminal mischief allegations.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt has said his office won’t pursue demonstrators accused of interfering with police and disorderly conduct, among other charges, if the allegations don’t involve “deliberate’’ property damage, theft or force against another person, or threats of force.

The office also won’t prosecute people on a riot accusation alone. Prosecutors will proceed with a riot case only if it includes an accompanying allegation of specific property damage or use of force, Schmidt said last month.

Police said some who were arrested in Monday’s demonstration had weapons including knives and at least one expandable baton.