After the most recent round of rioting and arson in Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler decided he’d had enough. The mayor came out and started talking tough about standing up to the mob. He’d done all of that before and there was no reason to think this time would be any different or result in any real change, but apparently the mayor’s tough talk struck a nerve.
[Spokesman Jim] Middaugh said the mayor’s office has seen a dramatic uptick in messages following the press conference, most of them critical of Wheeler and the remarks he made. Some claimed the mayor’s comments would encourage right-wing vigilantism while others said hardline approach was too-little, too-late.
Civil rights groups also had choice words.
“His comments are inappropriate, irresponsible, and dangerous,” said the ACLU of Oregon, which also accused the mayor of promoting vigilantism. “After more than four years as police commissioner, Ted Wheeler must finally recognize the role that unchecked police violence has in escalating tension in Portland.”
Part of that backlash to condemning months of Antifa’s pointless destruction came in the form of this creepy, threatening video which looks like something terrorists would release in an action movie.
“We are not just challenging the idea of having Ted as a mayor,” the narrator said, “We are challenging the idea of having mayors at all. We want abolition.” The clip ends with an implied threat: “Ted we are asking for the last time that you resign. If you ignore this message outright, the destruction to your precious way of life is going to escalate. Blood is already on your hands Ted, the next time it may just be your own.”
The blood on Wheeler’s hands is a reference to a fatal police shooting that occurred earlier this month. The clip ends with a screenshot of Wheeler’s address, to make the point that they know where he lives and can get to him.
KOIN 6 reports that the FBI and the Portland Police Bureau are investigating the threat. An FBI spokesman released a statement confirming their involvement but not saying much else about the case.
Unlike some threats that all people in the public eye receive, this is not one the mayor should ignore. This group has already targeted him at his previous home in a high-rise and forced him to move. So the threat to harass him at his new home is not idle. Whether they would go beyond that…well, they have set fires at occupied buildings several times, including on the ground floor of Wheeler’s high rise. In short, these people really are willing to use violence to get their way. At a minimum, they are making a threat to take out their frustration on the city in the form of more vandalism and destruction.
Over at the Post Millenial, Andy Ngo and Mia Cathall report that the account which distributed the video soon after it was uploaded belongs to a left-wing journalist.
@Hazeee1312’s profile photo showed a person wearing the same stylized white mask as the person in the video threat. Within hours of sharing the video, @Hazeee1312 deleted his entire account, which was created back in 2013.
TPM can report exclusively that the @Hazeee1312 account was operated by far-left journalist, Jarrid Bailey Huber. The 21-year-old from Damascus, Ore. has been a staple at Antifa protests and riots in Portland and elsewhere in the U.S.
When asked, Huber claimed that he had only shared the video provided to him by someone else. He wouldn’t identify that person. Hopefully the FBI and the PPB are having a chat with Huber about his connection to this threat.
I don’t know how people who are creating and releasing the equivalent of something the Joker would make to taunt Batman think they are doing the right thing but that’s what this is. Anyone dumb enough to make this threat is potentially dumb enough to carry it out.