Trump administration says federal agents will stay in Portland on hold
As part of the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, federal agents sent by US President Donald Trump were to begin a phased out on Thursday, with Oregon state police taking over outside the building . But federal officials pushed back, saying officers would not leave town completely but would be on standby in case they needed to.
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Trump insisted in a tweet that US officers would stay in Portland until the violence was brought under control.
“If she can’t do it, the federal government will do it for her. We will not leave until there is security! Trump wrote of Brown, saying she was not doing enough to control “anarchists and agitators.”
Trump says federal agents will stay in Portland on hold
In preparation for the handover, state soldiers, local sheriff and Portland police met and agreed not to use tear gas except in cases where there is a risk of serious injury. or death, said Mayor Ted Wheeler. Federal agents dispatched to the city in early July used it every night as protesters threw stones, fireworks and other objects.
“Federal agents use CS gas broadly, indiscriminately and every night,” Wheeler said, using another term for the chemical irritant. “And that’s why it aggravates the behavior we see on the streets rather than defusing it – and that’s why it must end.”
Wheeler, who was himself gassed when he joined the protesters outside the courthouse last week, added that tear gas “as a tactic is really not very effective” because the protesters donned gas masks and often return to action after recovering for a few minutes. . The Democrat also apologized to peaceful protesters exposed to tear gas used by Portland police before federal officials arrived.
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“It should never have happened. I take personal responsibility for it, and I’m sorry, “said Wheeler, who is also the Police Commissioner and who has earned the nickname” Tear Gas Teddy “in previous protests.
Police chief Chuck Lovell said he believed the new collaboration between local law enforcement would be seen “as a victory in many ways.”
“A lot of people have come to express their displeasure with the folks in the federal government here and engage in crowd control with members of our community,” Lovell said. “So I hope that on many levels, people will be happy with this development.”
Trump compares unrest in Portland, Venezuela, threatens to send US National Guard
Also on Thursday, a county judge granted a temporary ban
order forbidding the city, including the police, to collect or
maintain video or audio of protesters in public. The order follows
a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and
would not concern criminal investigations,
Oregonian / OregonLive reported. It expires on August 10.
Portland has seen nightly protests since George Floyd’s death in May after a white Minneapolis policeman pressed a knee into the black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
Protests have sometimes drawn up to 10,000 people for peaceful marches and rallies in the city. But some protesters have turned to the violence that is increasingly directed against the courthouse and other federal property.
Portland police find magazines of rifles and Molotov cocktails as protests escalate
The Trump administration sent federal agents to guard the courthouse earlier this month and quell the unrest, but the deployment had the opposite effect, reinvigorating protesters who found a new rallying point in the process. opposing the federal presence.
Nightly protests at the courthouse now begin peacefully but end with protesters throwing fireworks, flares, stones and ball bearings at federal agents, who respond with tear gas, stun grenades and pepper spray.
The US government arrested 94 people on Wednesday and 400 people were arrested by Portland police.
Clashes with federal agents continue in Portland
PA analysis of more than 200 arrest records shows that even those accused of breaking the law at nighttime rallies do not fit perfectly with Trump’s careful portrayal of protesters as “anarchists and agitators” .
The AP found that 95 percent of those arrested by police and federal agents were locals. The vast majority have no criminal record in Oregon. Many appear to be college students and their average age was 28, according to court records.
© 2020 The Canadian Press