Activists briefly shut down Portland City Council meeting, want Wheeler to resign
Several dozen protesters shut down the Portland City Council meeting Wednesday morning, while calling for Mayor Ted Wheeler to resign.
The group wants a response from the mayor on the police bureau's treatment of protesters, the small number of shelter beds available for homeless, and the mayor "allowing death by cops of innocent black children."
Mayor Wheeler is not in attendance because he's on jury duty, so the meeting was run by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. It had barely started when chants of "Quanice! Say his name!" rang out, and the commissioners left shortly after. The chant refers to 17-year-old Quanice Hayes, a black teenager who was shot and killed by police earlier this month because he was suspected of robbery.
The meeting reconvened about an hour later.
Thirteen people (including six juveniles) were arrested during an un-permitted march on #NotMyPresidentsDay in downtown Portland.
Many critics of the police bureau and Mayor Wheeler questioned the officers' use of force during the arrests; a 67-year-old woman who was arrested had a bloody nose, while another woman was shot with less-lethal munitions.
Portland's Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey had also planned a protest Wednesday, marching from City Hall to Mayor Wheeler's house. He had applied for a permit, but late Tuesday night, he said talks with the city over obtaining a permit for the march broke down over police presence. The march is canceled.
Earlier this week, Mayor Wheeler admitted he had some concerns about protest response.
“I asked the chief and his command staff to help create a more positive space for expression and emphasize tactics that deescalate tensions," Wheeler said in a statement. “Inevitably, mistakes will be made. It is my job as Police Commissioner to address them and make changes when necessary. This is one of those times."