Portland mayor Ted Wheeler (D.) told his neighbors on Tuesday he’s looking to move after anti-police rioters repeatedly targeted his Pearl District condominium complex, the Oregonian reported.
Wheeler’s announcement followed a massive demonstration outside of the 114-unit high-rise on Monday, where more than 200 rioters gathered around the building, vandalized it with spray paint, and threw burning objects inside. He said his move would be "best for me and for everyone else’s safety and peace" and apologized for the damage.
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"I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position," Wheeler said in an email to his neighbors in the building. "It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration."
Multiple community leaders have called out the mayor for "endorsing" the riots and failing to protect businesses from repeated swarms of looters, which have led many local business owners to move or close their stores indefinitely.
Both those on the right and the left have condemned Wheeler's inability to quell violent nightly riots that have plagued the city for months. President Donald Trump recently called the mayor a "fool" in a tweet, and on Monday, six leftist groups released a joint statement calling on the mayor to resign for his "repeated failures" to keep Portland safe.
Further, Portland police and other city officials say the mayor has yet to provide the city’s police department with clear steps for addressing riots. Instead, Wheeler insists the violence will eventually "burn itself out."
Wheeler is up for reelection in November.
In addition to the repeated demonstrations outside of the mayor’s home, anti-police rioters have targeted government buildings throughout the summer. Throughout June and July, rioters repeatedly attacked the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse, at one point launching fireworks and other explosives at the building after first barricading officers inside. Nightly riots in Portland began in May following the police-involved death of George Floyd.