Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

Portland protesters serenade mayor with altered ‘Happy Birthday’ song: Report

Officials call for calm after Trump supporters and protesters clash in Portland

Police are investigating the shooting death of a protester in Portland; Matt Finn reports.

Protesters in Portland were captured on video late Monday night singing an altered version of “Happy Birthday” to the city’s embattled mayor, Ted Wheeler, who just turned 58 years on Aug. 31.

Corry Young, a photographer for KATU News, posted the video on Twitter reportedly taken from North Parks Blocks, a city park in the downtown area.

The protesters sang, in part, “Happy tear gas for [inaudible] Wheeler, happy tear gas to you.”

Wheeler has been targeted by some protesters in the city who say he has been too heavy-handed with the use of the city’s police force. On Friday, there was a sit-in protest in the lobby of his condo. Protesters have issued demands, including police budget reductions and Wheeler’s resignation. A crowd of about 150 had gathered outside the building.

Portland has been gripped by nightly protests for three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The demonstrations, often violent, usually target police buildings and federal buildings. Some protesters have called for reductions in police budgets while the city’s mayor and some in the Black community have decried the violence, saying it’s counterproductive.

Wheeler has been in the middle of a public clash with President Trump over his handling of the unrest in his city.

DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said on Monday, in the wake of almost 100 days of ongoing protests and violence in that city, that Wheeler “hates President Trump more than he loves people in Portland.”

In the aftermath of a clash between Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters that left one person dead, Trump railed against Wheeler for openly refusing help from the National Guard. Wheeler shared his open letter to Trump on Friday, as protests and violence in his city had already been going on for 90 days.

"On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks," Wheeler wrote in an open letter to Trump Friday. "We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery."

Fox News' Joshua Nelson and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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