Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says he is in search of a new place to live after his downtown condo was targeted by enraged protesters, who have broken windows and sparked fires while calling for his resignation.
Wheeler revealed his intentions to relocate in an email to the other residents living in the 16-story Pearl District building, telling them it would be “best for me and for everyone else’s safety and peace.”
“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” according to a screenshot of the email, obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
“It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration.”
The city of Portland has been roiled with protests, calling for systemic change within law enforcement, since the death of George Floyd in late May. On Monday, which marked Wheeler’s 58th birthday, an estimated 200 demonstrators gathered outside his residence and sprayed its walls with graffiti.
Some broke windows while others threw burning newspapers onto the bottom floor of the building, which serves as a retail space. Authorities told The Oregonian they arrested 19 people during the demonstration late Monday on allegations of disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer.
In a Facebook post the following morning, Wheeler condemned the violence and destruction, proclaiming that “arson and terrorizing families with children does nothing except steal, and distract from, the important message of the racial justice movement.”
“Another minority-owned, local business was destroyed by a violent group of individuals. A police officer was filmed repeatedly striking an individual at a protest. Even the building where I live, along with dozens of other families, was violently attacked,” he added.
“These acts range from stupid, to dangerous, to criminal. The violence must stop. None of this should sit well with any thinking Portlander.”
The mayor purchased his two-bedroom condo in the building with 114 units for $840,000 in 2017, according to property records.
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