Portland police and the FBI have launched an investigation into an alleged death threat against Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler within days after he pledged to “take our city back” from the “anarchist mob,” a report in a local newspaper noted.
The Oregonian said that the thinly veiled threat was made per video posted to Twitter Wednesday night. An individual identifying as a member of the anarchist group Antifa vowed to continue taking part in riots in the western city while including Wheeler’s home address in what was viewed as a warning.
Here is the disturbing death threat video being shared online by #antifa that caught the attention of the FBI. There is now an active @PortlandPolice investigation. I have censored the part that includes a home address of Mayor @tedwheeler. pic.twitter.com/VePw8zdjLt
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 30, 2021
“Blood is already on your hands, Ted,” says a masked narrator using a voice-altering device, appearing outside a MAX station. “The next time, it may just be your own.”
The video lasts for about two minutes, and the narrator laughs disturbingly as Wheeler’s address is posted.
“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,” the narrator warns.
The threat comes about a week after Wheeler made an appeal to the public to help “unmask” the black bloc-clad rioters who have regularly disrupted the city since before the George Floyd incident in May 2020.
“They want to burn, they want to bash, they want to intimidate, they want to assault,” Wheeler said. “Our job is to unmask them, arrest them and prosecute them.”
“If BLM leaders can show the courage to stand up to this mob, then we all should,” he said, identifying the “the self-described anarchist mob” he blamed for most of the “criminal intimidation and violence.”
“Together we can make a stand … and take our city back.”
During last year’s rioting, Wheeler committed to a policy of reduced confrontation between police and rioters hoping that would appease them and lead to less violence.
But the policy didn’t work, and in January Wheeler was forced to admit as much.
“My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” he said. “In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”
“Lawlessness and anarchy come at great expense and great risk to the future of our community,” he added. “It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community, and take more risks fighting lawlessness.”
“Why would a group of largely white, young, and some middle-aged men destroy the livelihood of others who are struggling to get by?” he asked, calling it the “height of selfishness.”
Wheeler noted further that it is tough for him and others “to accept the reality that there are just some people on this planet who are bent on criminal destruction; that there are some people who truly just want to watch the world burn.”
The violence and destruction in Portland has been nearly constant for almost a year. In addition to hundreds of millions in damage, there have been riot-related deaths as well.
In August, a known Antifa member shot and killed Portland native Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, allegedly because he was a member of the conservative Christian group Patriot Prayer. The shooting took place in the early evening following a rally in downtown Portland.
“Jay’s dead because he believed something different,” said Chandler Pappas, also a member of the organization who was with Danielson when he was shot.
The likely shooter, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was himself killed by federal authorities in Washington a few days later when they moved in to arrest him.