The Mayor of Portland was gassed to tears on Wednesday when he met with demonstrators protesting police brutality and the use of federal troops in U.S. cities ordered by President Donald Trump.
AFP footage showed Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler wearing safety glasses and a face mask and being led away by a crowd amidst gas clouds and fireworks that exploded nearby.
"This is a tremendous overreaction from federal officials," Wheeler told the New York Times.
"This is a total urban war."
VIDEO: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is gassed at the forefront of a demonstration against the use of federal agents to fight protests in tears.
Wheeler has requested federal officials to withdraw from the US city and accused them of escalating the situation dangerously. Pic.twitter.com/zVppSm5TEt
– AFP News Agency (@AFP), July 23, 2020
According to NBC subsidiary KGW8, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Wednesday night when the latest round of protests, initially sparked by the murder of African American George Floyd in May.
The city's police department said protesters threw torches and fire devices into the federal court and caused small fires on the site.
It later declared a riot in the area outside the judicial center and ordered the demonstrators to disperse immediately.
Earlier protests in Portland – and much of the U.S. – to denounce racism and police brutality after a white cop's death of Floyd lost momentum in early July.
But then reports of disguised federal officials surfaced snapping Portland protesters in unmarked vehicles.
Demonstrations have now increased and thousands are appearing daily to fight the police late at night.
Wheeler had previously requested the withdrawal of federal officials from the northwestern US city and accused them of escalating the situation dangerously with abusive and unconstitutional tactics against demonstrators.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)