Mayor Ted Wheeler is moving. He has apparently told his neighbors that for their safety and his own, he needs to leave the condo he owns in a 16-story high rise:
In an email Tuesday from Wheeler to other residents of the 16-floor high-rise tower, the mayor said it would be “best for me and for everyone else’s safety and peace” that he finds a new home. He assured people that police are taking their safety concerns seriously and invited them to a Thursday evening meeting that will include himself and officers to voice their concerns.
“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” according to a screenshot of the email sent to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration.”
The building has 114 units and retail space on the bottom floor. Wheeler bought his two-bedroom condo for $840,000 in 2017, according to Multnomah County property records.
There have been two recent protests at Wheeler’s high-rise that prompted this. Last Friday a group locked themselves together inside the lobby of the building demanding that Wheeler resign. Meanwhile, the group held a loud concert on the street outside. Police were called but after a few hours the occupiers gave up and went home.
Things got more serious Monday night. The usual mob of Antifa goons showed up and set of commercial fireworks immediately adjacent to the building. The explosions were happening maybe 20 feet from people’s windows on the higher floors.
Then some vandals broke into an office on the ground floor and looted the furniture so it could be set on fire in the street. The actual moment the police declared the riot Monday night was when one of the revolutionaries threw a ball of flaming newspaper into the vandalized office. Fortunately, it didn’t set anything else on fire and police were able to quickly put it out but it’s not hard to see how literally playing with fire on the ground floor of a high rise full of people creates an extremely dangerous situation. After the riot outside his building the mayor wrote this statement to the public on Facebook [emphasis added]:
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community.
Arson and terrorizing families with children does nothing except steal, and distract from, the important message of the racial justice movement. Organizations in the community who encouraged or condoned these actions are complicit. Elected leaders – or those seeking office – who remain silent in the midst of these acts of violence and criminal destruction are equally complicit. The community must rise up and say “enough is enough” and hold all of us accountable. We cannot truly move on together and make the positive changes we want to see until this violence is stopped. All violence.
The line about terrorizing children probably has more of a story behind it that we aren’t hearing in full. I suspect this connects with the line in Wheeler’s letter to his neighbors about residents not having to live with the fear and damage caused by his position.
All of this should be mortifying to Wheeler because he’s the person responsible for putting a stop to this before it got to the point of terrorizing families and children. And really that applies to the whole city for the past several months. It’s not just this one building that is living with that fear and damage. Rioters have set fires at multiple buildings and vandalized numerous sites including the country court house and City Hall, two of the most prominent public buildings in the city. There have also been a string of arsons around the city which which appear to be connected to the rioters:
Arson investigators are asking the public to help identify those responsible for nearly 100 arson fires in Portland over the past two weeks.
According to the list released by the Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue, most of the fires were set in and near downtown. Suspected causes include fireworks and Molotov cocktails. Targets range from offices to vehicles to portable toilets, piles of debris and dumpsters.
The fires being investigated started on May 29…
Here’s a map of where the fires were set:
Even if you wave off the damage from the nightly riots (which you shouldn’t) the fact remains that this is taking a toll on a much larger portion of the city than a few buildings. Police have indicated that they are unable to respond to anything but high priority calls while dealing with the riots. Unless someone is physically being attacked, police probably can’t respond to your 911 call in Portland. So Ted Wheeler really should be apologizing, but not just to his immediate neighbors.
Remember when this same group tried to Occupy an ICE facility in his city? That was back in 2018. It was basically the same group of Antifa flying a different banner. Instead of BLM and defunding police their cause then was defunding ICE. They became so hostile that some people called 911 for help and…police never showed up. An ICE union later alleged that Ted Wheeler had ordered the police not to respond, essentially giving the group a free hand. That’s the tone that Wheeler set regarding Antifa and they obviously haven’t forgotten. Now that the violence and destruction has come to his door, he’s going to run away. Could there be any more clear indication that Wheeler is not up to the job?
Final thought on this: What good is moving going to do? Does Wheeler think the mob won’t find his new address in a matter of weeks? Will his new neighbors be any safer than the old ones? Of course not. Running away from this problem isn’t going to help it’s only going to change the location of riots and ensure that a new segment of people are terrorized in their homes.