Rioters Set Portland Police Association On Fire, Attempt to Lock Officers Inside

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 20, 2020

Earlier this month, in the face of sustained protests, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service deployed federal officers to Portland, Oregon, to suppress the protesters, against the will of the state government.

Speaking on CNN's 'State of the Union, ' Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler said federal officers "are not wanted here". "They only want to escalate".

"We unequivocally condemn unconstitutional kidnappings by unmarked federal agents, and call on you and President Trump to recall all federal forces from Portland immediately", they wrote in the letter to Chad Wolf, who visited Portland on Thursday.

Simonis said it took an hour before they were read their Miranda rights and told they were being charged with spray-painting federal property.

Anti-police demonstrations have been flaring up across the country since George Floyd, a Black man, died in the custody of white police officers in Minneapolis in May.

Federal law enforcement officers, armed with a new executive order aimed at protecting USA monuments, last week started cracking down on crowds gathering in Portland to protest police brutality and systemic racism.

Trump on Sunday morning posted messages on Twitter about intervention in Portland. "Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators", President Trump tweeted.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also announced she filed a federal civil lawsuit on Friday evening against the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin the process for a restraining order to stop the agents "from unlawfully detaining Oregonians".

In a tweet on Sunday, President Donald Trump defended the actions of the federal government.

However, the role played by the federal troops stationed in the city was questioned and criticized by the mayor. The agency said the objective of the fence was to de-escalate tension between protesters and federal law enforcement officers who now occupy the city.

According to the New York Times, "the tactical agents deployed by Homeland Security include officials from a group known as BORTAC, the Border Patrol's equivalent of a SWAT team, a highly trained group that normally is tasked with investigating drug smuggling organizations, as opposed to protesters in cities". In recent days, federal agents have intervened and have arrested peaceful protesters.

Things appeared to be winding down before federal officers stepped up their enforcement, Wheeler asserted. "We know Portland Police are collaborating with this federal occupying force", she said in a statement.

Representatives Jerold Nadler of New York, Carolyn Maloney of New York, and Bennie Thompson of MS sent a letter to the Justice Department and Homeland Security inspectors general Sunday, saying they are "increasingly alarmed at the Trump administration's use of federal law enforcement to violate the civil rights of our constituents". But Wheeler said the federal presence in the city is now exacerbating a tense situation.

Wheeler and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, both Democrats, called the move an abuse of power by the federal government and the state filed a lawsuit against the USA agencies involved.

Similarly, federal agents have been dispatched to Seattle and Washington, D.C. The response by Homeland Security painfully shows just how federal officers are exceeding their arrest authority and violating the rights of protesters across the United States, not just in Portland.

Rioters vandalized the federal courthouse in downtown Portland after removing the protective fencing that was once on the perimeter. The area has been the site of many clashes between protesters and law enforcement over the past seven weeks. Wolf had said that removal of agents from Portland would not "happen on my watch".

Officers declared a riot "due to the violent conduct of the large group creating a grave risk of public alarm", the bureau said in a statement.

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