Really? Two weeks ago, DHS Secretary Chad Wolf was at least available in the same city as Ted Wheeler, but the mayor publicly disdained the very idea of a meeting. And Wheeler made that disdain very well known at the time as well:
A number of people have asked if I know DHS leadership is in town, and if I’m going to meet with them. We’re aware that they’re here. We wish they weren’t. We haven’t been invited to meet with them, and if we were , we would decline.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 16, 2020
What a difference a fresh deployment of fifty more officers makes. Now Wheeler and commissioner JoAnn Hardesty are demanding a meeting with DHS to determine how to implement a “cease fire.” That seems rather fatuous, as the mayor and the commissioner have the means for such an outcome in their own hands:
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty are requesting a meeting with Department of Homeland Security leadership “to discuss a ceasefire and removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.”
Monday evening’s statement is a turnabout for Wheeler, who previously said he wouldn’t meet with DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf even if he was invited.
Wheeler had a phone conversation with Wolf two weeks ago. He said he wanted federal officers off Portland streets, and then “asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities.”
Hardesty, a longtime police reform advocate, has also denounced federal officers being in Portland. She has also been critical of Wheeler’s leadership during the protests, even going as far as telling the mayor, who is also the police commissioner, that if he “can’t control the police, give me the Portland Police Bureau.”
Er … how will Wheeler negotiate a cease-fire? Does he lead one of the combatant factions? Wheeler isn’t demanding a cease-fire — he’s demanding that the Trump administration partner in his surrender.
The answer from DHS to Wheeler’s stand-down demand appears to be a big, hearty naah for the moment. The Washington Post reported shortly after Wheeler suddenly found time on his schedule for a meeting that DHS will deploy fifty more officers to Portland to support the agents already under fire:
No intervention is needed.
The fires are just a myth.
Portland wants the Federal Government OUT.
Tear down the Federal Court.
Destroy all Federal property.
Kill any Feddie.
The “hearing” is fodder for the coming campaign. Lots of lovely sound bites.
@mathman: Maybe the federal officers there are just a myth?
No one can trust Wheeler or anyone in Portland or Oregon government. No federal officers leave until the peace is restored.