Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has warned Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler that if he continues to refuse federal assistance for his city, "the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens.”
"We are standing by to support Portland," Wolf wrote in a letter dated Aug. 31, 2020 to Wheeler, Fox News reported Monday. "At the same time, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that there will come a point when state and local officials fail to protect its citizens from violence, the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens.”
For over three months, there have been nightly violent protests in Portland's streets that have included three recent killings after protesters and pro-Trump groups clashed. Law enforcement officials have also made 255 arrests and declared 23 unlawful assemblies and riots.
Wolf told Wheeler in the letter that "you have stood by passively, arguing that the nightly violence 'will ultimately burn itself out.' The evidence demonstrates otherwise."
His letter came after Wheeler wrote to Trump in an Aug. 28, 2020 letter that once again, he was rejecting Trump's offer of federal law enforcement for Portland because the city did not need Trump's "politics of division and demagoguery."
"Portlanders are onto you," Wheeler wrote. "We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection."
Wolf, while asking Wheeler to reconsider, said that the violent acts in Portland are "evils you can stop — and must stop. Consider what happened recently in (Kenosha) Wisconsin—where the State of Wisconsin requested and received federal law enforcement assistance and the violence and looting there ended.”
Kenosha Alderman Anthony Kennedy, however, told Newsmax TV Monday that "rioters and looters" are destroying his city, and pointed out that police statistics that most of those people arrested are from out of town.
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