Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Asks Police To Ease Up On Protesters

Ted Wheeler says protests have been "far too messy" but that police need to create a "positive space for expression"

With international press attention falling on the city's protest culture once again, and activists targeting his home, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler this afternoon called for a reduction in tensions between city police and activist groups.

"Democracy can be messy, that's a fact. But as of late, it's been far too messy here in Portland," Wheeler said.

His statement acknowledged unspecified "mistakes"—perhaps a reference to the police's deployment of non-lethal rounds yesterday, which the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called "shameful." And Wheeler said he'd asked Police Chief Mike Marshman to adjust the bureau's tactics when dealing with the sort of non-violent protests that have become a regular feature of city life since the election of President Donald Trump last November.

"I asked the Chief and his command staff to help create a more positive space for expression and emphasize tactics that deescalate tensions," Wheeler said.

The mayor's full statement, supplied by his spokesman, Michael Cox, follows.