PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland Police Bureau is responding to criticism that Mayor Ted Wheeler impeded its work during this weekend's protests.

Wheeler received criticism on social media following Saturday’s confrontations between Antifa and members of a "Him Too" rally.

He was accused of tying the bureau's hands and refusing to let them deal with trouble makers.

On Wednesday, the Bureau's Assistant Chief told FOX 12 that's simply not true.

“I can tell you the direction I got from the mayor's office for this event which was enforce the law to the extent it is physically possible prevent violence from happening in our city prevent property damage and allow people to exercise their first amendment rights,” Asst. Chief Chris Davis said.

The bureau is looking for three suspects from the demonstrations. Three others were arrested.

One of the people hurt in the violence was Andy Ngo, who says he was there covering the event as a freelance journalist.

“Then the hits were coming from every direction to my face, to my head. They felt like punches,” Ngo said. “The stuff that they sprayed on me was getting into wounds and burning, and I just kept thinking ‘Where are the police? Who’s going to come help me?’”

Ngo claims, “It’s not an issue of rank-and-file police officers. It’s an issue of what would be colloquially called stand-down orders… I wonder how many more people need to be injured before something changes?”

Meanwhile, Portland police say one solution for making demonstrations safer would be to forbid people from wearing masks.

“So if we enact a restriction that people at this kind of event can’t wear masks, it takes that anonymity away, and it deters people from committing the crime in the first place, which is really what we want,” Davis said.

Ngo said threats had been made against him – that he’d be attacked if he showed up at the rallies – but he says he went anyway to still cover the event in an effort to expose the people committing violence.

He says among his injuries is bleeding on the brain.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(8) comments

retired40

I hope this reporter owns Portland when the lawsuit are over. The Portland mayor should be strung up.

sharder8

Okay, it comes down to either Wheeler IS tying their hands or the PPB is failing to follow Wheelers instructions and enforce the laws to prevent injury and destruction. You can't have it both ways when people are injured and damage is done! So people of Portland, who is responsible? Based on this story, the new Police Chief is a failure and needs to go.

DenWin52

Exactly, sharder8! The person at the top is responsible.

Manazuma

Unfortunately the violence of Antifa which seems to be supported by the mayor will have to get much worse before any effort to stop it will be made. How best to deal with masked criminals? As soon as you put on a mask your intention to violence becomes clear.

DD877

[sleeping] The Assistant police chief is sucking up to get the police chief job...

Yossarian

wheeler needs to step down.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

Indeed metrosexual Wheeler DOES need to step down.. His alleged statement is from the PPB, not Wheeler herself. Ngo is a Conservative reporter who was apparently doxed by Portland ANTIFA and was KNOWN by them, hence the threat against Ngo if he showed up. PPB's inaction is inexcusable. It's like they WANT Conservative marchers to escalate. I suspect PPB would be taking action if someone were effectively cracking ANTIFA heads and sweeping the street with them.

oldloggerak

I was not the least bit surprised when the police department backed down from what they said the other day. The liberal leadership in Oregon would never allow the truth to come out about them backing of Antifa assaults. The Governor,Mayor of Portland and the Chief of Police in Portland should be removed from office.

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