President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday that he is trying to assist Portland after months of protests and riots by sending in federal law enforcement, which triggered a backlash from the city’s mayor and Oregon’s governor.
“As the crowd was dispersed, several people in the crowd were arrested and officers were able to extinguish the fire. Portland Police did not use any CS gas,” the bureau said on Sunday.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, has said that a small group of violent anarchists was drowning out the overarching Black Lives Matter protest in the wake of George Floyd’s death. But the mayor called on the Trump administration to pull back, claiming that it is exacerbating the unrest.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Wheeler said Friday.
In a lawsuit against the federal government, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum requested that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Protection Service stop making more arrests in the city.
“These tactics must stop,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “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.”
The methods, she added, are “entirely unnecessary and out of character with the Oregon way,” without elaborating.
“The federal administration has chosen Portland to use their scare tactics to stop our residents from protesting police brutality and from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement,” she said. “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening. If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”
But the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pushed back against those assertions.
“The [Customs and Border Protection] agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter,” the DHS said in a statement. “The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.”