Mayor Wheeler tells protesters police used ‘questionable’ tactic - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor Wheeler tells protesters police used ‘questionable’ tactics in President’s Day incident

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While talking with protesters who interrupted a city council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke out about how Portland police responded to the President’s Day protest last month.

FOX 12’s cameras were rolling as police moved in on protesters, taking some to the ground and arresting them.

“Some of the tactics that were used looked questionable to me, and as police commissioner, I have the right to ask those questions and that's part of my job as police commissioner,” he said.

The mayor said officers used “questionable” tactics, noting that arresting people who had already moved to the sidewalk escalated an already tense situation.

“I had a conversation with the chief in particular about people being arrested once they were already on the sidewalk,” Wheeler said. “The police had asked people to go from the streets to the sidewalk and they did that. I didn’t think that was the right time to do an arrest, I felt that was something that could have been done later. Things were deescalating, and from my perspective, it looks like things escalated a bit.”

There's no word if Wheeler plans to launch an official investigation into the Portland Police Bureau, though he said he thinks things could have been handled differently.

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