Alisha Jucevic / AFP via Getty ImagesA demonstrator burns an American flag outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse during violent protests in Portland, Oregon, on July 31, 2020. (Alisha Jucevic / AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump blamed elected officials in Oregon for more than two months of riots and protests and said they should activate the National Guard to secure the safety of their citizens.
“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
“The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible,” the president added.
“The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!”
Trump’s tweet came after another weekend of unrest in the city.
While protests, riots and assaults on officers have been ongoing since May, when George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, a riot on Saturday deviated away from the city’s downtown area.
Video shared online by journalist Andy Ngo showed citizens in the city being verbally assailed by a group of protesters.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
In the video Ngo shared, protesters threatened to burn down a residential building apparently full of people inside their homes.
Police later announced that the group of demonstrators vandalized a police union building.
They reportedly ripped off barricades around the building and set a fire inside of the Portland Police Association building.
Despite more than two months of civil unrest, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has sided with those protesting and in some cases engaging in violence.
Wheeler joined activists in the streets last month amid a nightly campaign to destroy the city’s federal building.
The Democrat previously made it clear that he felt federal law enforcement officers who were guarding the building were the cause of the violence.
Many officers have been targeted by projectiles and laser pointers.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also blamed law enforcement officers for the violence in her state’s largest city last month.
The Democrat told NPR that the presence of federal officers in Portland attempting to prevent the destruction of property contributed to unrest.
“I was very, very clear with the Trump administration and the head of the Homeland Security to take their federal troops off the streets of Portland,” she told the outlet in an interview.
Do you think the federal government should intervene on behalf of Portland residents to stop the ongoing riots?
“The Trump administration needs to stop playing politics with people’s lives. We don’t have a secret police in this country. This is not a dictatorship. And Trump needs to get his officers off the streets,” she said after rioters were detained by federal authorities.
Brown further claimed that federal officers are “inappropriately trained,” and added, “And frankly, they’re exacerbating an already challenging situation.”
The governor did agree to send in 50 Oregon National Guard troops to Portland in June, the Oregonian reported.
But comments from her and Wheeler have done little to dispel a notion that Oregon’s leaders have allowed lawlessness to rule for nearly three months in the city, with no apparent end in sight.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.