Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more 11 Disruptive Startups Selected for Cohort 3 of the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program powered by Startupbootcamp AfricaRead more Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new Sameer facility in NairobiRead more Coffee with a human face: A union that improves livelihoods for Ugandan farmersRead more Trends Predicted to drive the retail industry in 2023Read more

US mayor of Portland bans the use of tear gas by police

Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 11, 2020 - 09:45 AM

PORTLAND — The mayor of the protest-hit US city of Portland, Oregon on Thursday ordered city police to stop using tear gas for crowd control purposes.

The northwestern city has endured more than 100 days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, has been fiercely criticized by “Black Lives Matter” and anti-fascist activists that have been in the streets since the death of George Floyd, the African-American man who died gasping for air under the knee of a white police officer in late May in the city of Minneapolis.

In his dual job as mayor and chief of police, Wheeler has been criticized for failing to meet commitments to reduce racial discrimination and police brutality, which demonstrators believe especially target racial minorities.

“It’s time for everyone to reduce the violence in our community. We all want change. We all have the opportunity and obligation to create change. We all want to focus on the fundamental issue at hand — justice for Black people and all people of color,” Wheeler said in a brief taped announcement.

“That’s why, as Police Commissioner, effective immediately and until further notice, I am directing the Portland Police to end the use of CS gas for crowd control,” he said.

During the last hundred days city, county and state police have relied on tear gas “where there is a threat to life safety. We need something different. We need it now,” Wheeler said.

The nightly protests, held in different parts of Portland — sometimes even residential areas — often end in thick clouds of tear gas.

On September 5 police broke up a crowd marching towards a police station with a rolling barrage of tear gas.

Hundreds of residents, many of them families with children, found the smell of the gas seeping into their living rooms and bedrooms.

Wheeler was excoriated on social media following the incident.

However many of the officers in the September 5 incident were state police who do not answer to the mayor but to the governor, and are not subject to the ban.

On social media activists on Thursday were baffled by Wheeler’s announcement.

Separately, Portland on Wednesday banned the use of facial recognition technology by all city departments, including the police.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.