(Headline USA) Portland‘s police chief has denounced rioters who broke windows and set a fire to a business in the upscale apartment building where Mayor Ted Wheeler lives, labeling the events an escalation in the street violence that Oregon‘s largest city has endured for months.
And the attacks have led the mayor to inform fellow residents of his plans to move, according to OregonLive.com.
“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” Wheeler wrote, according to an image of the email obtained by the news website.
The demonstration began late Monday and stretched into the predawn hours of Tuesday, targeting Wheeler, who is also police commissioner and has been criticized for heading up a police force that has repeatedly used tear gas against the rioters.
The fire was set with a bundle of newspapers in a store housed on the ground floor of Wheeler’s building. There were no reports of major damage or injuries.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the rioters also wound up targeting other people who live in Wheeler’s building and have had nothing to do with the protests. Previously, the demonstrators have almost always clashed with police outside symbols of authority — police buildings and courthouses.
“The families that live inside have done absolutely nothing to provoke a threat to their lives. As I’ve stated repeatedly, the nightly violence is coming at increased cost,” he said. “This is impacting the safety of our entire city and urgent action is needed.”
Portland has endured nearly 100 days of nightly unrest following the death of George Floyd during a police confrontation, including two weeks in July when thousands of protesters clashed with U.S. agents sent to protect the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. Local police have arrested hundreds of people since Floyd’s death, only to see most of the offenders released instantly to destroy again.
A supporter of the conservative group Patriot Prayer was killed Saturday by one of the rioters. A caravan of Trump supporters, estimated at about 600 cars, encountered Black Lives Matter protesters as they drove through the downtown.
Police have not announced an arrest in the slaying of Aaron J. Danielson, 39, of Portland, and have disclosed no details about what led up the shooting.
Wheeler said on his Facebook page that the vandalism hurt a minority-owned business.
“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,” he said.
Wheeler, who has repeatedly refused federal help from President Trump, added: “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.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.