Jul 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Portland mayor tear gassed by federal agents, booed by some protesters

Portland mayor
Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) was tear gassed by federal agents outside the city's federal courthouse on Wednesday night during another night of mass protests, AP reports.

Why it matters: Wheeler denounced the actions of federal agents, whose presence he opposes, as an "egregious overreaction" and an ineffective strategy for de-escalating the more than 50 days of protests that have ensued since the death of George Floyd. But Wheeler was mocked by some protesters who were infuriated by the city police's own use of tear gas against the early demonstrations.

  • Protesters called for Wheeler to resign and drowned out many of his remarks with boos and insults, with some throwing objects and chanting, “Tear Gas Teddy," the New York Times reports.

The big picture: President Trump announced Wednesday that federal agencies would send a "surge" of officers to Chicago and Albuquerque to combat violent crime, a move that has drawn backlash among Democrats as Trump seeks to reinforce his "law and order" message ahead of the election.

What they're saying: "You have radical-left Democrats running cities like Chicago," Trump said at his Wednesday coronavirus briefing. "There’ll be a time when they’re going to want us to go in full blast, but right now we’re sending extra people to help. We’re arresting a lot of people that have been very bad."

Flashback: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in early June after he told organizers that he would not commit to abolishing the city's police.

Go deeper: Protests swell in Portland, as Trump threatens to send federal agents to Democratic cities

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