In a response letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, the Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf calls Portland “the epicenter of crime and chaos.”
On Friday, August 28, Mayor Wheeler penned a letter to President Trump, citing violence as an avoidable product of the city’s protests and declining assistance from federal law enforcement.
“Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city,” begins Mayor Wheeler in his letter. “On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks.”
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) August 28, 2020
On Monday night, the Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security responded on behalf of the president.
“You state in your letter that “[t]here is no place for looting, arson, or vandalism in our city.” Unfortunately, you have failed to back up that sentiment with any action,” wrote Chad Wolf in his response. “In fact, your inaction has fostered an environment that has fueled senseless violence and destruction night after night.”
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“Due to a lack of action throughout the summer, Portland and its law-abiding residents continue to suffer from large-scale looting, arson, and vandalism—even killing.”
Portland’s mayor has stood by passively, arguing the nightly violence “will ultimately burn itself out.” The evidence demonstrates otherwise. Again, I urge Portland leaders to prioritize public safety & request federal assistance to restore law & order. https://t.co/1ZiyRXdBtP
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) September 1, 2020
While Wolf continues to echo the president’s urges to accept federal law enforcement aid on the ground in Portland, he added that the federal government doesn’t need the permission to act.
“Accordingly, I urge you to prioritize public safety and to request federal assistance to restore law and order in Portland. We are standing by to support Portland,” wrote Wolf. “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.”