Mayor Wheeler Statement On Federal Officer Withdrawal

Press Release

The federal occupation of our community has brought a new kind of fear to our streets. Federal agents nearly killed a demonstrator, and their presence has led to increased violence and vandalism in our downtown core. The daily coverage of their actions has distracted our community from the Black voices at the center of this movement, and the urgent work of reform.

I appreciate Governor Brown’s leadership in this discussion and her willingness to step in with State resources. The Governor and I agree: Oregon resources, expertise, and values are sufficient to manage Oregon issues.

The Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and Portland Police Bureau will continue working together to keep Portlanders safe, and the Governor and I have given clear direction: we expect that they will continue engaging only if there is violent criminal activity.

For nearly two months, many thousands of Portlanders have committed to conversation and action centered on police and criminal justice system reform in our community. Local and State leaders have taken meaningful steps. And we are poised to do more.

Today, Council will consider referring a ballot measure to fundamentally reimagine police accountability. The City Council has redirected millions of dollars from the Police Bureau’s budget, and is pressing forward with updates to bureau policies and training.

We are beginning to work with incoming District Attorney Mike Schmidt to reform the legal arm of the criminal justice system. We are advocating to State and Federal legislators for changes in the law.

And I am developing a community reinvestment proposal that I hope my colleagues will support when we discuss the City budget this fall.

The work of reform deserves our community’s full and complete attention, and I know that Portlanders will stay engaged. I’m proud of this community, and excited for the work ahead.