Portland mayor hit by tear gas released by federal agents
The mayor of the city of Portland, in the United States, Ted Wheeler, was hit by tear gas on Thursday (23) after joining protesters protesting against racism and police brutality.
While standing in the crowd outside the Portland Justice Center, Wheeler, wearing a protective mask, was hit by tear gas. Video footage showed him coughing.
“I’m not going to lie, it hurts, it’s hard to breathe,” Wheeler said in an interview with the American newspaper New York Times. He added: “I can tell you with 100% honesty that I didn’t see anything that provoked this answer”.
At another time, while the mayor was speaking through the crowd outside the Portland Justice Center, protesters were projecting a list of demands on the building wall behind Wheeler. Among the requests, it is possible to read “freedom for all arrested protesters”.
Wheeler was booed by some protesters who asked for his resignation and shouted “you should be ashamed”. They also said that the mayor should have done more to protect the citizens of Portland.
During the act, some people launched flags against the Justice building. Federal agents, who were housed in the city’s Justice Center, responded by firing tear gas bombs at the protesters.
These officers arrived in Portland on July 4 and are the key to a nationwide debate over civil liberties.
That’s because protesters and local officials see the initiative as a political ploy by President Donald Trump that would be launching a “law and order” to try to re-elect himself in this year’s election.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has called the federal agent dispatch operation “Operation Diligent,” according to court documents.
Wheeler, for his part, called the intervention an abuse of federal power and said it is making the violence escalate.
The protests started on Wednesday night (22) and lasted until dawn on Thursday (23).
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