The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could soon have “no choice” but to restore order in Portland if local officials refuse to do so, acting chief Chad Wolf warned Mayor Ted Wheeler in an open letter.
Wolf issued the notice to Wheeler in response to the mayor’s recent rejection of federal assistance despite nearly 100 nights of continued violence and rioting in the city.
Portland’s mayor has stood by passively, arguing the nightly violence “will ultimately burn itself out.” The evidence demonstrates otherwise. Again, I urge Portland leaders to prioritize public safety & request federal assistance to restore law & order. https://t.co/1ZiyRXdBtP
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) September 1, 2020
“You state in your letter that ‘[t]here is no place for looting, arson, or vandalism in our city.’ Unfortunately, you have failed to back up that sentiment with any action,” Wolf wrote. “In fact, your inaction has fostered an environment that has fueled senseless violence and destruction night after night.”
“For more than three months, Portland has become the epicenter of crime and chaos, with rioters attacking government buildings with the intention of burning them to the ground.”
Wolf pointed out that despite Wheeler’s claims the turmoil would “ultimately burn itself out,” the situation in Portland has only worsened, culminating in the alleged murder of a man belonging to the Patriot Prayer group on Saturday night.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) August 28, 2020
“…I urge you to prioritize public safety and to request federal assistance to restore law and order in Portland,” Wolf wrote. “We are standing by to support Portland.”
“At the same time, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that there will come a point when state and local officials fail to protect its citizens from violence, the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens.”
DHS Sec. Chad Wolf: "If you want to riot, if you want to loot, if you want to do some of these other criminal acts that we see around the country, there are going to be consequences for that." pic.twitter.com/eQVFm2HV5H
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 1, 2020
Wolf’s letter, dated August 31, was issued on the same day he was pressed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson about the federal government’s seemingly sluggish reaction to violent insurgencies rocking Portland and many other U.S. cities.
“What we know, Tucker, is that we have seen groups and individuals move from Portland to other parts of the country,” Wolf told Carlson. “We had about about 175 arrests in Kenosha, almost 100 of them were from out of state. So, we know they are moving around.”
“We have seen them in D.C., in Sacramento, and elsewhere. They are organized. We have seen similar tactics being used from Portland and other cities across the country, as well. So, we know that there is organization. I know the Department of Justice is also looking at that, as well.”
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Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst