PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is publicly responding to violence that occurred during recent demonstrations in downtown Portland.
Wheeler had been out of the country when the demonstrations involving members of a “Him Too” rally and Rose City Antifa occurred June 29.
His staff said Wheeler was providing direction, statements and feedback regarding the protests while he was away.
On Monday, he spoke about the violent incidents.
“They were alarming. They were disturbing and from my perspective they are completely unacceptable,” Wheeler said.
Violence occurred as protesters marched through downtown Portland. Eight people were treated by medics, including three police officers, and three people were hospitalized.
Police said people in the crowd had weapons, including collapsible batons and guns.
Three people were arrested and police have subsequently released multiple images of other suspects wanted in connection with the violence.
Wheeler praised Portland for being a city that has long-embraced the First Amendment, but he says in recent years some demonstrators have taken a dark turn, with people using these events to commit violence.
In many cases, Wheeler said those people come from outside the Portland community.
“They come here with the intent to commit acts of violence, engage in street brawls and at the end of the day, they go home, but they leave Portlanders holding the bag and dealing with the consequences,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler also noted that there were more than 200 rallies in Portland last year, and the vast majority were peaceful.
Wheeler said he will continue to work with law enforcement, community groups, civil rights leaders and others in an effort to curb the violence.
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