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Photo: Getty Images
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Portland’s street are filled with federal law enforcement agents

Amid continued protests in Portland, federal law enforcement showed up in unmarked vehicles and uniforms.

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On July 16, hundreds of protesters were on the streets of Portland. Overnight however, there were police confrontations and arrests made by federal officers, who witnesses said, administered tear gas and impact munitions to drive protesters away from federal buildings.

This comes after the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf visited Portland and said it was “under siege for 46 straight days by a violent mob.” 

He further criticized Portland officials for letting ‘lawless anarchists’ destroy property.

Videos have surfaced from the hysteria that is going on in parts of Portland. 

The camouflaged federal officers were aiming weapons and using smoke to hold protests back. Other videos show the officers pushing people to the ground and hitting them with batons.

Oregon Public Broadcasting interviewed protesters named Mark Pettibone and Conner O’Shea that were outside of the Multnomah County Justice Center in Downtown Portland. They said there was a group of men in unmarked vans that chased after them. O’Shea was able to escape and hide, but Pettibone was arrested,taken to the federal courthouse and put in a cell. He was then interrogated for over an hour before being released.

“I just happened to be wearing black on a sidewalk in downtown Portland at the time, and that apparently is grounds for detaining me,” Pettibone told OPB.

After multiple comments made by President Trump criticizing city and state officials for not ‘taking control’ of the situation, he threatened to send federal officials. 

Portland officials fired back criticizing their excessive use of force with tear gas, and rubber bullets against journalists and protestors. 

“What is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the United States. Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping. The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered,” Jann Carson, the interim executive director for the ACLU of Oregon told Rolling Stone.

What has transgressed almost overnight is after an executive order Trump gave to punish those who vandalize federal monuments and government property. The federal government intervening in Portland has started an argument between state and federal leaders, asking who has the ultimate authority.

 

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