What are federal agents doing in Portland, Oregon?


The remarks followed an onslaught of condemnation from local and national leaders after OPB reported that federal agents had been snatching protesters and detaining them in unmarked vehicles. "Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening".

"The actions of the militarised federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered".

Federal officers have charged at least 13 people with crimes related to the protests so far, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday.

Mr Pettibone said he was taken to a holding cell in a federal courthouse, where he was read his arrest rights.

One video showed two people in helmets and green camouflage with "police" patches seizing a person on the sidewalk, and then putting handcuffs on them before forcing them into an unmarked vehicle.

"Who are you?" someone asks the pair, who do not respond.

The ACLU accuses the feds of using tear gas, rubber bullets and acoustic weapons to disperse protesters - including journalists and "legal observers", which the organization says are identifiable by wearing legal garments demonstrating they're lawyers assisting the protesters.

The federal lawsuit will name the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Protective Service, three agencies that have had a role in stepped-up force used against protesters since early July.

Officers from federal agencies have been present in Portland since at least July 2, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which has sent units to the city. But others were grabbed blocks away. DHS referred to protestors as "violent anarchists" and said "criminal actions" against federal property and officers would "not be tolerated".

Protests have taken place for almost two months in Portland, since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Wheeler agreed, announcing Friday: "This is not the America we want".

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On Friday, Wheeler struck a stronger tone, saying Trump had a choice: keep troops in the federal buildings or send them home.

Rosenblum said the lawsuit was specifically being filed in response to "federal authorities overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters" this past week.

"This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law".

LaBella was holding a boombox and standing across the street from the federal courthouse when he was sacked on by officers.

The western USA state's Democratic governor accused the president of using heavy-handed tactics to score political points.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown clapped back on Twitter, writing, "This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety".

The Times editorial board warned this month that the nation is facing a potentially unsafe period in the Trump administration, as the flailing president sees his political support flagging. During that press conference, the mayor had refrained from mentioning Trump and said he had no issue with federal officers' presence in Portland, so long as they remained inside the building.

His comments echoed those of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who tweeted Friday, "Our men and women in uniform are patriots". "Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media".

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also sued Homeland Security and the Marshals Service in federal court Friday night.

Wolf on Thursday in Portland called the demonstrators, who are protesting racism and police brutality, "violent anarchists".

U.S. District of Oregon Billy J. Williams also has vowed to investigate both the arrest of Portlanders pulled into unmarked cars and LaBella's injuries, but that hasn't satisfied a brigade of ranking Oregon politicos, who have called for the feds to either leave Portland or disengage from policing protests.

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