Oregon Democrats criticize Trump for sending feds. Attorney General sues federal agencies instead.
July 19, 2020
Since late May, the city of Portland has been enduring violent street protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
As Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler sat back and watched his city turn into mayhem, Trump decided to take matters into his own hands, and signed an executive order on June 26 that sent federal law enforcement officers from several agencies to Portland to instill law and order.
On July 13, Trump commented that his executive order was working successfully. “We’ve done a great job in Portland,” he said. “Portland was totally out of control. We very much quelled it, and if it starts again, we’ll quell it again very easily.”
The following day, Wheeler posted a message on twitter to express his rejection of Trump’s help, stating: “We do not want or need their help.”
I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use. We do not need or want their help.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
Wheeler also told the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security that he wanted the feds to leave the city. However, they remained inside and continued cracking down on law-breaking protesters and rioters.
Recent arrests of protesters caught on video, showed federal officers in unmarked vehicles seizing and detaining protesters, further infuriated Democrat politicians.
In a July 13 press conference, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown acknowledged that protesters were using violence but rejected Trump’s response in sending the feds.
“The street violence in Portland absolutely needs to stop,” Brown said. “It is distraction from the critical work head to eradicate racism from our justice system and from our systems and institutions altogether.”
Brown went on to mock the federal law enforcement officers as “Trump troops” and said their actions in Portland “are definitely not the answer.”
She blamed the feds for making things worst. “As we saw, this only escalates the tension and we need a dialogue and de-escalation,” she said. “I don’t believe that President Trump ordering troops to the streets in Portland is the solution to the challenges we’re facing. And I would ask Portlanders to not take the bait.”
On July 16, Brown lashed out again at Trump on Twitter, writing “This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”
I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 16, 2020
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi echoed Brown’s sentiments: “Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. These are not the actions of a democratic republic. @DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission. Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.”
Pelosi’s tweet prompted a response from Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who wrote: “Cops are not stormtroopers. Arrests are not kidnappings. ANTIFA terrorists are not protestors. Dems are making the cynical political decision to stand with violent criminals trying to destroy America.”
Cops are not stormtroopers.
Arrests are not kidnappings.
ANTIFA terrorists are not protestors.
Dems are making the cynical political decision to stand with violent criminals trying to destroy America. https://t.co/Noib5l4HrX
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 18, 2020
Oregon Attorney General sues federal agencies.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit on July 17, requesting a restraining order to stop agents from the Department of Homeland Security, US Marshals Service, US Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Protection Service from making further arrests in Portland.
Her lawsuit alleges human rights violations. “The Federal Protection Service and their agents alleging they have engaged in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregonians by seizing and detaining them without probable cause.”
According to Rosenblum, their tactics are “entirely unnecessary and out of character with the Oregon way” and urged them to stop.
“They not only make it impossible for people to assert their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully, they also create a more volatile situation on our streets,” she said in a statement. “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening. If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”