Unidentified Federal Agents In Rented Vans Grabbing People Off Portland Streets
Federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon — sent by President Trump to quell protests against police brutality and racial injustice — reportedly are decked out in camo, driving unmarked minivan rentals, and are grabbing people off the streets.
- The unknown number of agents, supposedly sent to protect federal property amid the ongoing social unrest, "are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren't near federal property,” OPB reported Thursday.
- It also is not “clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity.”
- According to the report, federal agents “have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14.” The news outlet continues: "Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off."
- Juan Chavez, a civil rights lawyer, said the tactics are "like stop and frisk meets Guantanamo Bay" and "more like abduction" than lawful arrest.
Trump praised federal efforts in Portland earlier this week, saying "Portland was totally out of control" and that federal agents had "very much quelled it."
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf visited the city on Thursday, blasting the mayor and governor and claiming that "Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city."
The publication also noted that “Federal agents shot one 26-year-old man in the head with "less lethal" munitions last Saturday, fracturing his skull.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown (D), and Oregon's congressional delegation have been clear that the federal agents are unwelcome.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) accused Trump and Wolf of sending federal agents into Portland in an effort to play to the president’s right-wing base, writing on Twitter:
A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police. Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.