Prominent conservative voices, including Republican Senator Ted Cruz and US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, are now calling for action following a weekend of violence in Portland, Oregon, during political demonstrations.
After witnessing video footage of violent clashes, Cruz took to social media to urge federal law enforcement to “investigate [and] bring legal action against” Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler.
Cruz alleged Wheeler “ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists,” in reference to the left-wing group Antifa, which has been involved in dozens of violent protests throughout the city.
From The Hill:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a prominent conservative and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants federal authorities to investigate and prosecute the mayor of Portland, Ore., after Cruz accused him of ordering police to allow attacks against a conservative activist.
“To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists,” Cruz tweeted early Sunday, referring to Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, has come under criticism after Andy Ngo, a sub editor and photojournalist for Quillette, a conservative online publication, was reportedly assaulted by antifa protesters, leaving him with scratches and a black eye.
Rival demonstrations by far-right and anti-fascist groups turned into violent street clashes in Portland on Saturday, resulting in multiple injuries and arrests. Police reported the demonstrations became violent when some demonstrators starting throwing milkshakes of quick-drying cement and using pepper spray.
Conservative outlet The Daily Caller published a photo of Ngo spattered with what appeared to be some sort of milkshake thrown at his face and a bruised eye. He was later admitted to the hospital because of what a legal representative described as a “brain bleed,” according to the Caller.
Cruz retweeted a photo of Ngo and wrote: “Sickening criminal assault. To mainstream ‘journalists’: don’t cover this up, don’t ignore it.”
U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, also jumped on the story, tweeting: “Where is Mayor @tedwheeler? Where is the national media?! @MrAndyNgo.”
Grenell, who is gay, tweeted: “This was a pre-meditated attack on someone because intolerant radicals don’t like that Andy happens to be gay, Asian and conservative.”
Grenell later added that he had asked the Justice Department to investigate, writing “I can’t just sit by and watch my friend be brutally attacked.”
Video showed Ngo being punched and kicked by young men wearing black hooded sweatshirts and face masks. The video didn’t show any police in the vicinity.
When a police officer showed up, Ngo asked, “Where the hell were all of you?” according to a video he took on his phone.
Three protesters were later arrested, though police did not say whether that was in connection for assaulting Ngo or other conduct.
Gage Halupowski, 23, was charged with multiple counts of assault, including on a public safety officer; James K. Stocks, 21, was charged with harassment; and Maria Dehart, 23, was charged on counts of disorderly conduct and harassment, according to Portland Police.