WASHINGTON, July 20 (Xinhua) — The mayor of Portland in the U.S. northwestern state of Oregon renewed on Sunday his call for the federal troops to leave the restive city, accusing the troops of escalating the situation.
There are “dozens if not hundreds of federal troops” in the city, and “their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism,” Ted Wheeler was quoted by CNN as saying.
“They’re not wanted here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave,” he told CNN.
Following the death of African American George Floyd in May, protests have swept the United States, and Portland has witnessed nightly demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism in the city.
In June, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments and statues from protests as well as combat criminal activities.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security sent federal law enforcement officers to Portland to help the city restore order.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.
However, the role played by the federal troops stationed in the city was questioned and criticized by the mayor.
“Based on recent actions by federal law enforcement officers, I am not comfortable having them in our space,” the mayor tweeted.
It’s not the first time that the mayor has asked the federal troops to leave the city.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” the mayor said at a press conference on Friday. Enditem