Mayor Ted Wheeler, who as recently as last month joined protesters on the streets of downtown Portland, on Thursday decried the unrest that has roiled the city in the months since George Floyd's death.
In a hastily called virtual news conference alongside Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, Wheeler condemned protesters for setting fire to the Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct building while officers were still inside on Wednesday night.
'When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,' Wheeler said.
'I believe that city staff could have died last night. I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms.
'Don't think for a moment that if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump - because you absolutely are.
'If you don't want to be part of that, then don't show up.'