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.