Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Renews 8 o’Clock Curfew and Decries “Blatant Lawlessness and Selfish Violence”

Police arrested dozens of protesters for violating the Saturday night curfew.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler renewed the citywide curfew through Sunday night and condemned the actions of "rioters and looters" who took to city streets Friday and Saturday.

"It no longer feels like sincere mourning for the death of George Floyd and many other black men and women in our country. This behavior that we've seen for the second night is blatant lawlessness and selfish violence," Wheeler said during a press conference Sunday morning. He said that peaceful protests have been "co-opted by rioters and looters to use the moral soul of this movement as a cover to destroy our communities."

For a second consecutive night, Portland police will enforce a citywide curfew beginning at 8 pm Sunday. The curfew gives police the authority to arrest protesters for simply being outside, effectively prohibiting any gatherings from occurring.

An hour before the curfew took effect Saturday, police deployed flash-bangs and tear gas around 7 pm to break up a crowd of more than 1,000 people.

Throughout the night, police used aggressive tactics to disperse the crowds. In total, Portland police arrested 48 people Saturday night for violating curfew, disorderly conduct and other offenses. The majority of arrestees were in their late teens or early 20s.

A small portion of protesters smashed windows of businesses in downtown Portland and in the Lloyd District on Saturday night. Wheeler says dozens of businesses were damaged over the weekend and the cost is "substantial," likely in the millions of dollars.

Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Ryan Gillespie said during the press conference that his team responded to five structure fires, two vehicle fires and 12 dumpster or miscellaneous fires Saturday night.

"Within the space of a few days, we have seen our city damaged by a group of selfish individuals," Portland Police Chief Jami Resch said during Sunday's press conference. "Our city has been deeply stained by this ugliness."

Wheeler's opponent in the November election for mayor, Sarah Iannarone, diverged sharply from City Hall this morning, denouncing police tactics.

"The solution to community members' outrage over police violence is not to inflict further police violence on them," Iannarone said in a statement. "It brings tears to my eyes knowing that an entire generation of young Portlanders are coming of age under this administration believing that when they speak out about police brutality, climate change, gun violence, or economic disparities, they can expect to be met by armed police in military-style gear who commit violence sanctioned by their leaders."

Perhaps the most striking revelation this morning was the announcement by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty that she had made the decision Friday night to declare a curfew, while Wheeler was traveling. Hardesty, a longtime critic of police brutality, said the curfew would allow the city "a moment to cool off."

In effect, the curfew allows almost all activities besides protests to occur. Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Oegon, have criticized the curfew, arguing that it is likely to lead to "selective enforcement."

"A curfew on the entire City of Portland is an extraordinary measure that will likely lead to selective enforcement," the ACLU of Oregon wrote in a tweet Saturday night. "It is not necessary to allow police to intervene in acts of actual lawbreaking. We urge you to look for a less restrictive approach."