Press briefing should be starting soon. You can watch here (https://katu.com/watch). I'll try to live toot the big stuff.
Wheeler is denouncing "the violence". Ambiguous. Calls for out-of-town trouble-makers to "stay away". Asks Portlanders to denounce "all violence".
Calls Trump racist, sexist, anti-democratic, and lists off a handful of offensive things Trump has done.
"Now you're attacking Democratic mayors [...] it's you who have created this violence and division [...] it's you who claaim that white supremacists are good people."
Lovell is up next:
- Homicide in downtown PDX.
- Refrain from speculation on social media.
- If you have info, come forward.
- Caravan was gone when shooting occurred.
- No other details at this time.
- Highlights recent homicide of 17-year-old in park that received less media attention.
- Focus on what we have in common, not what divides us.
Next up: DA Mike Schmidt.
- MLK quote.
- Saddened that the message BLM might be undermined by this violence.
- ~"Our community is being terrorized by people coming into our city for the explicit reason of commiting violence"
- "We cannot allow this critical moment in our history to be hijacked"
- MLK quote
How will we deal with this in the future?
- Wheeler: My greatest fear is someone dying. I am mourning and accountable. I and council colleagues are committing to reforms and 19 point plan. Vote in November. I will continue to ask community and colleagues to work with me. Violence is a dead-end street. We need education and housing. Let's not get sidetracked by violence.
How do you respond to Trump's criticism?
Wheeler: It's appalling that Trump would pretend to be surprised by violence. He should uplift us and help us and bring us together instead of use divisive politics. Trump should support us or "stay the hell out of the way". "Of course he isn't surprised, he encouraged them." I'm not surprised in the slgithtest, I'm surprised that he's surprised. We all need a reset and it required local and federal leadership to end violence.
Do you have a plan for keeping these groups apart? Do you have a strategy?
Wheeler: We were successful on Aug 17 2019 to keep violent parties separated. Communities also participated and took a stand against violence. We're lacking that coalition of determination against violence.
Have you asked the governor for National Guard?
Wheeler: Yes, she denied twice. I believe that we're okay without them.
Why are there more cops at BLM demos than the Trump caravan?
Lovell: They were spread out and we had constrained resources.
Are there any arrests?
Lovell: None from last night.
Did you get a commitment about the route?
Lovell: No, only conversations.
Why do you slash BLM cars but not Trump vehicles?
Lovell: Depends on the circumstance.
What's the plan for tonight?
Lovell: I need to talk to my team.
In 2018/2019 we had brawls, this year was BLM protestors. Was last night a brawl or a protest?
Lovell: It was a skirmish, hard to classify.
Caravan had pepper spray and paintball guns and tried to hit pedestrians. Are you investigating?
Lovell: Potentially, depends on information. We have 10 arrests already.
Any info on victim?
Lovell: No. But social media info is often not factual.
Was shooting politically motivated?
Lovell: I don't know.
How can you keep this from escalating from open firefight?
Lovell: I hope that doesn't happen. The city is big and we can't be everywhere at once. We can't commit to preventing violence.
Will you call in National Guard?
Lovell: Not yet, we might need them.
Lovell: No hesitancy, just not the right option right now.
Are you considering a curfew?
Lovell: Haven't decided.
We're you trying to separate groups last night or let violence play out?
Lovell: We focused on vehicles, not street skirmishes. We can't prevent violence because the city is too big and we have too few resources.
Your coalition members are calling for your resignation. How do you move forward?
Wheeler: It isn't about me, it's about the community. Difference of opinion is okay for politics but not for violence.
Trump is watching this and is threatening you on Twitter with national guard deployment.
Wheeler: Classic Trump. That's not helpful or productive. Let's commit to the changes and reforms that people are demanding. Let's cooperate to move this country forward.
Are you taking enough responsibility?
Wheeler: I ask myself the same question. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I'm trying.
Did the city do everything it could to stop the violence?
Wheeler: It's hard to say yes.
Trump says you aren't prosecuting some crimes.
Schmidt: We're prioritizing the resources of the DA's office on violent crime.
Could you have charged cops with violence in the past 90 days?
Schmidt: I've seen inappropriate behavior online but not through the formal channels. IA and IPR are the right channels for this.
How will you stop retribution tonight besides asking people to stay home?
Wheeler: We're investigating and working on a plan later today. Please stay home though.
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