(Headline USA) The mayor of Portland on Thursday told police in Oregon‘s largest city to stop using tear gas for crowd control during the riots that have racked the city for more than three months since the death of George Floyd during a police confrontation in Minneapolis.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, was tear gassed when he went to a demonstration against the presence of federal authorities dispatched to the city to protect federal property.
Wheeler, who is also commissioner of police, said he still wants police to respond aggressively to prevent violence and vandalism.
Hundreds of people have been arrested since the riots started in May, but most have been immediately released to destroy again.
“I expect the police to arrest people who engage in criminal acts. I expect the District Attorney to prosecute those who commit criminal acts. And I expect the rest of the criminal justice system to hold those individuals accountable,” the mayor said.
Protesters want city officials to slash the police budget and reallocate that money to black residents and businesses.
Some demonstrators are also demanding the resignation of Wheeler, a white man and the scion of a timber company fortune.
In clashes with police, rioters have broken windows, set small fires, punctured police car tires, shined lasers in officers’ eyes and pelted them with rocks and frozen water bottles.
Wheeler recently moved out of his high-rise apartment after anarchists targeted the building, setting a fire in a business on the ground floor.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.