Wheeler to discuss community safety ahead of possible unrest

Wheeler to discuss community safety ahead of possible unrest

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is expected to talk about community safety measures ahead of possible unrest over the weekend.

The virtual press conference, which begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, will include Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell, Western States Center’s Executive Director Eric Ward and Integrity First for America representative Amy Spitalnick.

In a statement released Thursday, the City of Portland said groups of people may gather in Waterfront Park on Sunday and they “may choose to confront one another.” The chief of Portland police warned that people have shown up to similar events in the past with weapons.

“While the city of Portland and Police Bureau is firmly and consistently supportive of people exercising their free speech and assembly rights, we know that violence and injuries are avoidable,” said Lovell. “Our message is: those planning to come down to engage in violence, don’t come. You should not expect to see police officers standing in the middle of the crowd trying to keep people apart. People should keep themselves apart and avoid physical confrontation.”

Lovell said those who engage in violence or vandalism may be arrested and charged. The PPB plans to add resources to prepare for the possible unrest.

City officials advise building owners and managers to close and lock their dumpsters and secure their A-frame signs before Sunday. Dumpsters should be moved inside or to another secure location if possible as they have often been set on fire during protests or pushed into roadways.

KOIN 6 News will update this story.

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