Wheeler questions some police protest tactics

Wheeler generally pleased

A police officer in riot gear grabs a protester during opposing rallies in downtown Portland, June 4, 2017. (Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Mayor Ted Wheeler has praised the Portland police for their response to competing downtown demonstrations last Sunday but asked questions about a number of decisions in a June 13 letter to Chief Mike Marshman.

“As police commissioner, I don’t make strategic decisions, but I need to understand the justification for what happened,” Wheeler told the Portland Tribune editorial board when discussing the letter Monday.

Wheeler said he was generally pleased the protests ended without anyone getting hurt or any property being damaged, however.

Among other things, Wheeler asked why police moved so called anti-fascist activists out of Chapman Park. He also asked the legal justification for corralling many of them as their marched down Southwest Fourth Avenue and detained them until they showed and were photographed with identification.

A Portland Tribune reporter and photographer were among those temporarily detained.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has criticized the tactics as unconstitutional.

Wheeler also asked about police policies concerning receiving help from citizens making arrests. The Department of Homeland Security has been criticized for requesting and receiving assistance from a right wing militia member providing private security for pro-Trump protesters.

Wheeler has asked Marshman to reply by June 23.

The Portland Tribune is a KOIN media partner.