Portland activists are calling on Mayor Ted Wheeler to step down as police commissioner, and for Police Chief Danielle Outlaw to resign or be fired, after Willamette Week and the Mercury reported on newly released text messages between the Portland Police Bureau and far-right Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson on Thursday.

A coalition of activists held a press conference outside Portland City Hall Friday afternoon. They included a representative from local group Direct Action Alliance (DAA), and anti-fascist organizer Luis Marquez, who was mentioned several times in texts between PPB Lt. Jeff Niiya and Gibson.

Direct Action Alliance presented a list of several demands that they want the city to meet by Friday, Feb 22. In addition to calls for Wheeler to step down and for Outlaw's dismissal, they are also asking that Niiya be suspended without pay, and that PPB undergo an independent investigation—rather than the internal investigation mentioned in Wheeler's Thursday statement.

"If these demands are not met by Friday next week, we will launch a city-wide campaign of marches, rallies, and shut-downs to pressure Ted's administration into taking accountability for his failures that directly affect and endanger the lives of people in this city that he claims to protect," a DAA member said at the press conference.

DAA's demands echoed those released by local nonprofits CAIR, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and the Western States Center yesterday evening.

Portland activist Sarah Iannarone read a statement on behalf of Portland United Against Hate and Unite Oregon at the press conference.

"The face of law enforcement has been lying to us," Iannarone read. "The history and roots of racism in this city are preserved in this lip service to us, and the protection of them. These hate groups have a history of violent attacks that have perpetuated the same the same culture of fear that Portland police have had over the same communities, and the police union has worked feverishly to maintain this long and sick culture. We ask for nothing short of an independent investigation of the Portland Police Bureau."

PPB announced today that it will hold a listening session to address the text messages on the evening of Thursday, Feb 21, from 6 to 8 pm at the Maranatha Church on NE 12th.