Six left-wing groups in Portland are demanding Mayor Ted Wheeler (D.) resign after a fatal shooting this weekend, saying the mayor has "fundamentally failed" to keep the city safe.
"What took place last night was inevitable given Mayor Wheeler’s repeated failure," the groups said in a joint statement released Sunday afternoon. "He has not protected or supported Portlanders. We do not have confidence in his ability to course-correct. He must resign."
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The groups—which include the Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, Next Up Action Fund, Portland’s Resistance, and Popular Mobilization—released the statement just hours after Wheeler tried to pin the nightly outbursts of violence in his city on President Donald Trump, who he claims has created "hate and division."
But members of the far-left groups said they’ve feared for the lives of residents under Wheeler’s leadership for years.
"I don’t think we can see what happened last night in a vacuum or as an isolated incident," Olivia Katbi Smith, a co-chair of Portland’s Democratic Socialists of America, said. "People are going to be killed on both sides of this because of the environment Ted Wheeler has been making in this city."
Anti-police protests have continued for more than 90 consecutive days in Portland. Throughout June and July, rioters repeatedly attacked the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse and other government buildings, at times launching fireworks and other explosives at buildings while people were inside.
Other city officials have said Wheeler has yet to provide them with a plan for addressing violence in the city, and in a recent interview with Oregon Public Radio, Wheeler said his plan to quell the violence that’s plagued his city for weeks was to just "let it burn itself out." Wheeler is up for reelection in November.