The city of Portland should call in the Oregon National Guard to deal with months of rioting, protests, and general unrest, said President Donald Trump in a statement on Monday.
“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard. The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible. The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!” he wrote on Twitter.
His posts on Twitter come as a riot was declared in Portland on Sunday night as police officers attempted to curb unrest. Protesters marched on a police union building before throwing objects at officers, blocked a road, set fires, and more, according to news reports.
Authorities arrested 16 people during protest-turned-riot, reported KATU. They were either arrested for disorderly conduct or interfering with a police officer, or both.
A riot was also declared on Saturday evening outside the police union building. Officials in the city said the demonstrators threw fireworks at officers in that incident.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests and riots have occurred every night for more than 70 days straight. But demonstrations in the past week have become more and more violent, forcing police to declare a riot.
Trump, meanwhile, has been critical of the violence for weeks while laying the blame on Mayor Ted Wheeler. Last week, Wheeler, a Democrat, asserted that demonstrators in one instance were “attempting to commit murder” after individuals attempted to trap officers inside a police precinct building and allegedly tried to set fire to the structure.
“Don’t think for a moment that if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump—because you absolutely are,” Wheeler said, according to The Associated Press. “If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”
Capt. Tony Passadore, who was the incident commander during the incident, said in a news conference: “I don’t want people to get confused to think that this was something related to Black Lives Matter.”
“I’ve been the incident commander for 24 nights of the 70-plus events, and I’ve seen amazing protesting going on in the city of Portland where people gather together,” he said.
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