Portland mayor Ted Wheeler tear-gassed by federal officers

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/23/portland-mayor-ted-wheeler-tea.html


It’s official: it’s not “the media”, China, Democrats, Mexico, “Shithole countries”, Mexico, Iran, nor even Russia. Trump is the true Enemy of the American People.


Plan now people.


Those goggles look effective. Maybe he’ll gain some empathy for the protestors his cops are doing this to on the regular.

You know, it just occurred to me that US soldiers all have to undergo exposure to chemical irritants, even though they’re not allowed to use them. We should subject the leaders with this kind of power to the same.


Punishment of disloyal mayors and regional leaders: straight out of the right-wing authoritarian playbook. Putin would be proud.


This doesn’t earn Wheeler any points with the people who want change. There’s a lot of discussion about voting for someone else in November in PDX, but there are enough centrists and change-averse people that he’ll probably get reelected.

I’d love to be proven wrong though.


So as mayor, does he get on the phone with his own police chief? Does he get on the phone with the president? Does he even get on the news to talk about it?
I am confused as to what power does a mayor actually have if he can’t or won’t decide to do anything here.
I’m exhausted :frowning:


Denouncement is not consequences.


I have the same questions. Could he not just order the police to confront the Feds? I’m guessing there are all kinds of jurisdiction issues at play but what power does a mayor actually have here?


I’m not sure what the situation is inside the federal buildings, but I’d be calling out a city crew to shut off utilities to the buildings, and prevent any troops from leaving. Let them simmer in their own juices for a few days, if not weeks.


One thing I learned recently about Austin, TX (where I’ve lived for 15 years) is that apparently the Mayor, City Council and City Manager don’t have very much power to do anything at all about anything. Listening in on their meeting after the first couple weeks of protests in which the police flagrantly violated the law was like listening to a PTA or school board meeting. It is very clear that, even if not officially stated, the police are in charge of Austin, TX.


This is what Donnie looks like he’s doing to these cities in the eyes of rational people


Depends on how to police are structured. In some states the police chief is an elected official, and the Mayor’s official control has more to do with budgets. In others the police chief is appointed by the mayor, and if the mayor doesn’t like what the police chief is doing they can fire them and replace them. Sometimes the replacement is subject to review by the legislative branch, sometimes not.


In Portland the Mayor is traditionally the Police Commissioner, though I believe that duty can be assigned to another City Commissioner.

That position is one of oversight, not operation. So going out and seeing what the police are up to falls well inside that purview. On the other hand, grandstanding it and then leaving is more of a Mayor kind of thing. I think that’s the hat he was wearing.

It’s important to remember that Portland Police were gassing crowds until a court told them to stop. Then things got quieter. Based on Tuck’s reporting, they may be back at it…

That said, a Mayor getting tear-gassed on TV might have some national benefit. We’ll see.


Well Putin is his manager.


Well, in Portland the mayor is also the police commissioner. It’s unclear if he does nothing in this role because of a lack of power or a lack of backbone. One of the city commissioners tried to take over his role as police commissioner this past weekend, so I think it is the latter. (https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/protests/portland-protests-mayor-wheeler-police-commissioner-hardesty/283-85e3ff1b-5972-4421-9b35-4d41680c1abd)



im pretty sure that’s in part because austin is also the capital. so the very conservative state legislature has imposed restrictions on the relatively very liberal austin.

portland should be a little different because it’s s blue city in a blue state. i think the mayor is also the police commissioner in portland.

i think people have been unhappy with his response from the start. i guess he was out of state or something at the beginning with his dying mother, and imposed a multi day curfew from afar which didn’t go over well.

my read from my friends is that he’s in over his head, and not quite sure what to do. so basically he’s done very little.

he’s probably a nice white guy who’s never thought much about race and racial justice before, and would rather this all just go away so he can focus on getting elected mayor again. that’s my guess.


You are very correct. My first duty assignment in South Korea had a chemical unit… they gassed us every other week. But that’s how you learn protocols and safe procedures and all that jazz.
So, when I see the feds unleashing absolute hell on peaceful protestors, I can tell they’re an untrained force whose only objective is to punish people. I saw people calmly, yet briskly, walking away from the clouds of tear gas, only to see feds shoot tear gas canisters into these crowds who are walking away.