Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s hands-off policy when it comes to Antifa protestors came under scrutiny on Saturday after journalist Andy Ngo was assaulted by masked Antifa assailants.
Wheeler, who is also police commissioner, said nothing on Saturday, as hundreds of Antifa protestors gathered on the streets, with some throwing milkshakes — potentially mixed with quick-drying cement — and assaulting Ngo.
Ngo, shaken and bloodied, began livestreaming on his phone after his assault, and could be heard asking a police officer, “Where the hell were all of you?”
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell tweeted, “Where is Mayor @tedwheeler?”
Wheeler was silent on his Twitter account and issued no statement to media.
Where is Mayor @tedwheeler? Where is the national media?! @MrAndyNgo https://t.co/U8B1S3Etla
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 29, 2019
“This is unacceptable. I am outraged. This violence from intolerants must stop. Portland leaders must be held to account,” Grenell tweeted again later.
UFC fighter Ted Kennedy called on Wheeler to resign:
What happened to @MrAndyNgo is horrible and inexcusable. The #mayor @tedwheeler should be resign for what he has done to #portland. I feel bad for the @PortlandPolice having their hands tied. The socialists with #antifa are dangerous and un-American. pic.twitter.com/k7PV2YTUgW
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) June 30, 2019
The Antifa groups participating in the protest reportedly included Rose City Antifa and the Democratic Socialists of America of Portland. They were allegedly protesting a “Him-Too” rally, where only dozens showed up, according to one photo.
Wheeler previously defended his hands-off approach to dealing with Antifa in October, after members of the left-wing movement blocked streets and harassed drivers.
“This is the story of Goldilocks and the two bears. The porridge is either too hot or it’s too cold,” he told reporters, according to a Washington Times article. “At any given moment in this city, the police are criticized for being heavy-handed and intervening too quickly, or they’re being criticized for being standoffish and not intervening quickly enough.”
Wheeler also criticized a Fox News story that was headlined, “Mob rule? Leftist protesters take over Portland street.”
“I’m willing to take criticism all day long from Fox News,” he said, according to the article. “But I’m not willing to accept criticism from Fox News of the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau.”
Other journalists covering the protest described a chaotic and violent scene, with Antifa protestors allegedly throwing eggs and milkshakes at police officers, too:
.@PortlandPolice say Pioneer Courthouse Square is closed and that: “Police have been hit with eggs and milkshakes.”
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
Protestors could be heard screaming at police officers who were at the protest. One shouted, “F-ck you pig!”
Police on bikes broke up opposing protesters at Broadway and Morrison. pic.twitter.com/jIvsgntH4d
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019
Second cop got egged right in front of me #PortlandOR SWBroadway & SW Morrison pic.twitter.com/Crq7dtyled
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) June 29, 2019
Antifa protestors also threw trash cans, newspaper stands, and patio furniture into the streets, according to a KPTV reporter:
Some people threw trash cans, newspaper stands, and patio furniture into the street pic.twitter.com/QGN9UPE88O
— Audrey Weil (@audreytweil) June 29, 2019
Antifa protestors were also reportedly using pepper spray.
Later in the evening, police reportedly began using pepper spray and zip ties. The police department warned of arrest and use of force.
PPB advising this is now a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly. If you do not disperse, you are subject to arrest or use of force.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 29, 2019
However, at the end of the day, only three people were arrested, according to KPTV.