PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The FBI says it’s helping the Portland Police Bureau in an investigation into a video posted on social media that includes a threat of violence against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler if he does not resign.
An anonymous account posted the video on Twitter Wednesday evening, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. In it, an unidentified masked narrator speaking with an altered voice said they were speaking on behalf of a “small collective from within the anarchist and anti-fascist community.”
The person said the mayor was “undeserving in his position” and called on viewers to fight the “city’s failed leadership.”
“Ted, if you ignore this message outright the destruction to your precious way of life is going to escalate,” the video’s narrator said. “Blood is already on your hands, Ted. Next time it may just be your own.”
The two-minute video ends with a screenshot of what appears to the mayor’s home address.
Jim Middaugh, a spokesman for Wheeler, said the mayor and his office learned of the video Wednesday night, and that the Portland Police Bureau opened an investigation and notified the FBI. Middaugh declined to comment further, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
In a statement, the FBI encouraged anyone with information about its creators to contact either the FBI or police.
The threat followed a news conference held by the mayor last Friday in which he called for a severe crackdown on demonstrators, pushing for higher bail and recommending residents record the license plates of protesters clad in black to give to police.
“Our job is to unmask them, arrest them and prosecute them,” Wheeler said.
Civil rights groups rebuked Wheeler’s comments, including the ACLU, which called them “inappropriate, irresponsible, and dangerous” and warned they would encourage vigilantism.
Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty issued a statement Thursday also condemning the comments.
“I believe Mayor Wheeler’s comments during a press conference last Friday escalated community tensions and were inappropriate in their potential implications and interpretations,” she wrote.