Portland mayor meets with protesters after City Council disrupti - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland mayor meets with protesters after City Council disruptions

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler took questions from protesters outside City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV) Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler took questions from protesters outside City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV)
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler took questions from protesters outside City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV) Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler took questions from protesters outside City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV)
Mayor Ted Wheeler addressed protesters at City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV) Mayor Ted Wheeler addressed protesters at City Hall on Wednesday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler met with protesters outside City Hall after numerous disruptions during Wednesday's City Council meeting. 

Members of a group called the Direct Action Alliance sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Monday demanding that Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman resign or be fired by the end of the day Tuesday.

Protesters had threatened to "shut the city down" if their demand wasn't met. While that didn't happen Wednesday morning, there were many contentious moments between the mayor and protesters. 

It started when a group of protesters interrupted the Portland City Council meeting Wednesday morning. Wheeler told the group he would meet with them at Terry Schrunk Plaza outside City Hall immediately after the council session was over.

Wheeler asked the protesters to leave so the meeting could resume and warned that further disruptions could lead to arrests. 

As the meeting continued, however, so did the interruptions. As councilors attempted to discuss items on the agenda, shouting could be heard from the audience.

One man screamed at the mayor and city commissioners, threatening to "close you down every week." 

After the meeting ended, Wheeler did take questions from a group of protesters gathered outside City Hall.

Many expressed anger about the police response to Friday’s protests against the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The group said officers used unnecessary and unprovoked tactics like tear gas and rubber bullets to help control the crowd of over 4,000. Marshman said Tuesday that the officers' measures were justified when a small number of protesters began throwing items like lit flares and unknown liquids at them. 

Wheeler invited anyone who felt they were treated inappropriately to file grievances with the city's Independent Police Review. That was met with cries that the review process doesn't work.

"You can say the process doesn't work, then work with me to fix the process," Wheeler said.

Wheeler asked the protesters to work with the city and get permits for their marches to avoid shutting down TriMet bus and MAX service.

One woman in the crowd called permit fees "extortion." Wheeler said he would discuss waiving permit fees for protesters, if they agree to seek them out.

Wheeler spoke to the protesters for around 30 minutes. He left with some people still shouting questions at him. 

Portland police said they were ready to respond to possible protests Wednesday. 

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