Ted Wheeler wrote to neighbors in his building to say it would be “best for me and for everyone else’s safety and peace” for him to move from the building that rioters tried to torch on his 58th birthday Monday, according to The Oregonian.
“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” Wheeler reportedly wrote, according to a screenshot of the email.
“It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration.”
The mayor bought his two-bedroom condo in the building with 114 units for $840,000 in 2017, the paper said, citing property records. It has regularly been a scene of protests, with fireworks lit and lights shone on the building as fires also get lit in the street.
Wheeler has faced harsh criticism for his handling of the protests in the City of Roses for 97 consecutive nights since George Floyd’s police-custody death in Minneapolis in May. He has sympathized with protesters, called for cops to refrain from arrests and also pledged to defund the police.
President Trump on Sunday called him a “wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor of Portland” who has “watched great death and destruction of his City during his tenure.”
Portland’s police chief, Chuck Lovell, used the arson attack on Wheeler’s condo building as proof that “the nightly violence is coming at increased cost.”
“Our elected officials need to do their part to draw a line in the sand and to hold people accountable,” he said, calling for “urgent action.”
Wheeler also attacked the acts of “senseless violence” that “range from stupid, to dangerous, to criminal” — while highlighting alleged police brutality and saying he still stands with protesters.
“Elected leaders – or those seeking office – who remain silent in the midst of these acts of violence and criminal destruction are equally complicit,” he wrote.
“The community must rise up and say ‘enough is enough’ and hold all of us accountable. We cannot truly move on together and make the positive changes we want to see until this violence is stopped. All violence.
“We cannot allow our anger to destroy what we are trying to support,” he said.
“I stand by our positive movement for police reform and I stand by the hundreds of thousands of Portlanders who want to peacefully protest and ask for more reform,” he wrote.
“If you are participating in violence, I want to be clear: I denounce your actions. … Your actions demonstrate a level of hate and destruction that we WILL NOT condone or tolerate.”