Remember the myth that the protests in Portland, which have been going on nightly for more than three months, were peaceful until the Trump administration sent in federal law enforcement officers to guard the federal courthouse that had been under siege? A new report from Oregon Public Broadcasting reveals that Mayor Ted Wheeler had the bold idea that telling the cops to stand down would ease tensions and maybe put an end to the nightly rioting.

Rebecca Ellis reports:

In late July, Mayor Ted Wheeler had an idea he hoped would end the nightly clashes between protesters and police in Portland.

He texted Sonia Schmanski, a top aide, that he had a plan that was “high risk,” but he added that the city had “nothing to lose.”

His idea: Tell his police force to stand down from the demonstrations.

It was a move protesters had urged for months, arguing that police decked in riot gear needlessly raised the tensions of the nightly protests. Wheeler told OPB he, too, had noticed a “calming deescalating effect” on nights when police stayed out of sight.

But the protests soon drifted to the east side of the city. And Wheeler said he was persuaded that the plan was too dicey as protesters began targeting police buildings near homes in residential neighborhoods.

So essentially he thought that surrendering control of the downtown area to the mob would placate them, but he realized that plan wasn’t going to work when the mob started moving into residential neighborhoods.

It has. We’ve been covering Portland for years. We’re surprised there’s anything left.

Wheeler made himself perfectly clear when he said he didn’t want the help of the DHS and that his primary concern was the violence federal officers had brought to the streets. So, yeah, it looks like he was fine with the status quo until the federal government got involved and tried to shut it down.

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