(Reuters) - Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he planned to move out of his apartment after repeated protests outside his building demanding he resign over his handling of months of anti-racism protests in the Oregon city, according to a report.
In a Tuesday email, Wheeler told residents of the building in downtown Portland it would be best for their safety if he found a new home, The Oregonian newspaper reported on its website.
“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 wrote, according to a screenshot of the email sent to The Oregonian.
Wheeler’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Portland has seen over 90 days of protests calling for policing and social justice reforms since the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by police in Minneapolis on May 25.
Demonstrators have gathered outside Wheeler’s building calling for him to step down over police violence, including the use of tear gas against demonstrators.
Police declared a riot on Monday and arrested 19 people as some graffitied the walls of the building, smashed windows and threw burning material inside, Portland Police said.
President Donald Trump has seized on civil unrest in Portland and other cities to criticize Democratic leaders and call for “law and order” ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
“Mayor Wheeler just got harassed out of his own home in Portland by so-called “friendly protesters”. The Anarchists, Agitators and Looters treat him HORRIBLY, even though he is so nice and respectful to them. Criminals only understand strength!,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Wheeler, who has blamed Trump for stoking clashes, on Tuesday asked the city to join him in “denouncing violence” after a Trump supporter was shot dead in Portland on Saturday.
Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis
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