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Portland Police respond to a riot declaration on April 16 following an officer shooting a local man. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Friday asked residents to help "unmask" the people behind violence at protests in recent weeks, which grew in fervor after police fatally shot a white man at Lents Park.

What he's saying: “They want to burn, they want to bash, they want to intimidate, they want to assault,” Wheeler said in a Friday video statement, referring to violent protestors. "Our community needs to resume their lives. People need to go back to work. Employers need to be able to reopen."

  • "I support our police using all legal strategies, including kettling, when the appropriate circumstances and resources are available to do so without putting officers at risk of physical harm."
  • "Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them," he said. "I want to personally thank neighbors, family, friends, and others who have come forward with vital evidence. People know who these criminals are. They know what they're up to."

Wheeler faced backlash for urging residents to call the police if they see people who are "all dressed in all black" arriving at protests in cars. His office in a follow-up statement said he was referring to "those who engage in criminal actions."

Flashback: "Understand that doing damage to us, our communities, and our resources undoes the work we do," a group of Portland-based Black organizers and protesters wrote in an open letter last week, prior to Wheeler's statement.

  • The mayor appeared to reference the letter, saying: "If BLM leaders can show the courage to stand up to this mob, then we all should."

The other side: "They tried to make us look like we are against each other. We might not all agree on the ways that we protest or we fight, but we know that we must fight," said protester Kevin Wright at a demonstration Saturday with other Black community members in response to Wheeler's remarks.

Go deeper

Apr 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

6 police killings occurred in the 24 hours after verdict in Chauvin trial

Demonstrators gather outside a government building during an emergency city council meeting following the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

At least six police killings took place in the 24 hours after a verdict was reached in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, AP reports.

Why it matters: As many nationwide breathed a collective sigh of relief after a jury on Tuesday found Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd, some of the six deaths prompted renewed calls for justice and an end to police violence.

Google offices to mandate vaccines

Photo: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

Google announced Wednesday it would require all in-office workers and visitors to be vaccinated and that employees could continue working from home through Oct. 18.

Why it matters: It's another sign that the Delta variant's spread is upending corporate plans for a quick and steady resumption of in-office work.

48 mins ago - World

Israeli and Palestinian officials are speaking again

Isaac Herzog (L), then the leader of the opposition, meets with Mahmoud Abbas in 2015. Photo: Abbas MomaniI/AFP via Getty

Relations between the new Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have shifted substantially in recent weeks, with Israeli officials going so far as to call it “a renaissance."

Why it matters: During Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year tenure as prime minister, relations deteriorated to the point where there was almost no contact other than security coordination.