USA charges 18 Portland protesters as it sends tactical police to Seattle

USA charges 18 Portland protesters as it sends tactical police to Seattle”

The city's Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler has accused federal officers of triggering a unsafe escalation of the situation with abusive and unconstitutional tactics.

City transportation officials on Thursday sent a cease and desist letter to Roy Atwood, the U.S. General Services Administration lead for the region. Federal agents had leaf blowers of their own to counteract.

The Justice Department Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into allegations of excessive use of force, including tear gas and "less-lethal munitions", by federal agents in Portland.

The arrests conducted by DHS agents away from federal property - and the opposition to their presence from state officials - muddy the legal picture.

Trump has now vowed to deploy federal agents in other cities such as Chicago to help tackle an uptick in gun violence.

Portland has been roiled by nightly protests for two months following the killing by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Federal statutes enable a president to deploy government forces to states under certain conditions.

By 3 a.m., most demonstrators had left, with only some small groups roaming the streets.

The Department of Homeland Security, whose law enforcement agents have come under fierce criticism for their behaviour in Portland, said its internal watchdog was also conducting a probe. Gov. Kate Brown seconded that demand and labeled their patrolling of streets "a blatant abuse of power".

They are the most highly trained members of the Border Patrol, agents who confront drug traffickers along the U.S. -Mexico border and track down unsafe fugitives in rugged terrain. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, introduced legislation to limit the role of federal forces in cities.

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The hearing in U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman's court focused on the actions of the more than 100 federal agents responding to protests outside the Portland courthouse.

It was unclear if police or a federal agency released the gas.

"The federal government acted in violation of those individuals' rights and probably acted in violation of the constitution in the sense of exercising powers that are reserved to the states, but just because the federal government acts in ways that overstep its authority doesn't mean the state has an injury", said Michael Dorf, a constitutional law professor at Cornell University.

At least 28 officers have been injured and officers have made at least 43 arrests, mostly for misdemeanors. This kinds of actions, setting federal agents like an occupying force into cities across America targeted by the president because they are run by Democratic mayors, is using a political stunt.

DHS officials have called the camouflage uniforms "standard" and "appropriate for any operational environment", and further claim that the removal of name badges protects officers against potential harassment.

"I talked to the acting secretary yesterday".

Protesters had projected lasers on the building and attempted to take down a security fence that had been reinforced to keep demonstrators at a distance.

"We want a system where people can tell the difference", a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Tuesday.

Wheeler's appearance in the protest zone came hours after state attorneys for OR urged another judge to issue a restraining order against the federal agents. In Chicago - where more than 400 homicides have occurred so far in 2020, an nearly 50% increase from the same time previous year - Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that city officials "welcome actual partnership but we do not welcome dictatorship". "In the second place, it is not seeking redress for any harm that has been done to protesters".

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