Federal officers again deployed tear gas on Saturday evening as the fences were torn down around the federal courthouse, where officers and protesters have already clashed, reported CBS Portland affiliate KOIN. The fence around the courthouse fell on Friday evening, was repaired and replaced on Saturday, and then demolished again.Portland police said on Sunday four people were arrested on charges of riot and meddling in a police officer.
erupted in June after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis – but in recent times they have become of the presence of federal authorities in the city.
Under an executive order from President Trump in June, federal agents have been deployed to protect federal monuments and buildings in cities like Portland, Seattle and others. The Portland federal courthouse also falls under its jurisdiction.
An Oregon Public Broadcasting report earlier this week found that federal officials from a number of agencies were driving and detaining people. Personal accounts and videos posted on social networks show federal agents detaining individuals without explanation, according to the OPB. A protester, Mark Pettibone, told the OPB he was “essentially thrown” into a van and driven downtown without explanation.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Friday the state is filing a lawsuit against several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, for engaging in “illegal law enforcement in violation of civil rights ”of demonstrators and detain people without probable cause.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that a note from the Department of Homeland Security, which deployed officers to Portland, had warned that the officers were not properly trained. In a statement on Friday, Customs and Border Patrol, a domestic security division, said at least one of the arrests was made by their agents.
Oregon officials called federal authorities to leave and Portland police on Saturday told federal officials that they could no longer use their command center. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who traveled to Portland on Thursday, tweeted Sunday that not allowing their officers to use the command center is “dangerous” and “puts lives at risk.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the presence of federal officers “actually resulted in more violence.”
“They’re not wanted here, we haven’t asked for them here, and in fact we want them to go,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler and other Oregon officials blamed the Trump administration for the escalation of violence.
“The tactics that the Trump administration is using on the streets of Portland are horrible,” Wheeler said. “As you indicated, people are literally being taken out onto the streets and in unmarked vans, rental cars apparently. They are denied probable cause and due process. They don’t even know who takes them in the vans, folks As far as I know, it’s completely unconstitutional. ”
Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday that “we’re trying to help Portland, not hurt him.”
“Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators,” he said. “They are missing. We must protect federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. They weren’t just demonstrators, these are the real deal! ”
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News on Sunday, Trump said “we have arrested many leaders” in Portland.
“If we didn’t take a position right now, you would have a problem,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re going to lose Portland. “