Portland mayor orders police to stop using tear gas on protest crowds

The declaration comes after more than 100 straight days of protests that have seen city and federal officers deploy tear gas on participants


By Joseph Wilkinson
New York Daily News

PORTLAND, Ore. — The mayor of Portland, Ore., banned police officers in the city from using tear gas Thursday. His order is effective immediately and will last until further notice.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as city police commissioner, was tear-gassed himself at a protest July 23.

The Portland Police declared the protest a riot after multiple Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd in the direction of the police. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian/Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian)
The Portland Police declared the protest a riot after multiple Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd in the direction of the police. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian/Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian)

“During the last hundred days Portland, Multnomah County and State Police have all relied on CS gas where there is a threat to life safety,” Wheeler said. “We need something different. We need it now.”

Protesters demanding racial justice have demonstrated in the city for more than 100 days since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers May 25. At one point, President Trump sent federal authorities to the city, an action that sparked the protest where Wheeler was tear-gassed.

Tear gas bans in other cities have led to police using other chemical irritants, such as pepper spray, more often. The CS gas banned by Wheeler is also banned from warfare by the Geneva Convention.

Portland’s months of protest have turned violent at times. In late August, Michael Reinoehl fatally shot Aaron Danielson, 39, at a protest. Reinoehl was then gunned down by federal authorities who were closing in to arrest him in Washington.

Reinoehl had described himself as “100% anti-fascist." Danielson was a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, which attracts white supremacists and supports Trump.

“I call on everyone to step up and tamp down the violence,” Wheeler said Thursday. “I’m acting. It’s time for others to join me.”

©2020 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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