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Senators Merkley and Wyden demand federal officers leave Portland

(Photo courtesy Doug Brown / ACLU of Oregon)

Four members of Oregon's congressional delegation sent a letter on Friday, criticizing the 'authoritarian tactics' used by federal law enforcement officers against protesters in downtown Portland.

Posted: Jul 17, 2020 5:37 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hot on the heels of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief's visit to Portland, four members of Oregon's congressional delegation are demanding that U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf remove their "special forces" from the state.

Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden were joined by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici in drafting a letter addressed to the Trump appointees, calling the methods used by federal officers "politically-motivated authoritarian tactics."


(Photo courtesy Doug Brown / ACLU of Oregon)

Acting Secretary Wolf criticized local leaders on Thursday, saying that the city of Portland was "under siege" by groups that he repeatedly referred to as "violent anarchists." His visit appeared to largely consist of meetings with federal officers who have increasingly been involved in clashes with protesters outside of the federal Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.

Merkley and Wyden have been critical of federal law enforcement's response in Portland, particularly following recent reports that a protester had been hospitalized after being shot in the head with a "less lethal" round, and allegations that agents have use unmarked vehicles to detain and question protestors without explanation.

“These tactics include deploying federal agents without identifying insignia in an apparent effort to evade transparency and accountability, snatching people off the street with no apparent reason for apprehension, and using potentially deadly munitions to harm peaceful protesters. These actions are out of control,” the Oregon delegates wrote. “They are more reflective of tactics of a government led by a dictator, not from the government of our constitutional democratic republic.”

The same group of U.S. lawmakers have requested that the DOJ and DHS offices of the Inspector General investigate the tactics used by federal officers in Portland.

"The message crafted by the Trump administration to justify this escalation of force and intimidation in Portland borders on propaganda, apparently to serve the President’s perceived political interests," the lawmakers continued. "This is unacceptable under our Constitution. There are undoubtedly dangerous acts being committed by a small number of individuals. Yet a Department of Homeland Security press release refers to ‘violent anarchists’ 72 times while describing graffiti. Meanwhile, the President’s re-election campaign is running ads warning of ‘lawlessness’ and ‘radical left-wing mobs.’”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20635

Reported Deaths: 348
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah476293
Washington299124
Marion283769
Umatilla222127
Clackamas150039
Malheur75513
Deschutes5829
Lane5653
Jackson4472
Yamhill42913
Lincoln4129
Union3942
Morrow3493
Jefferson3464
Polk30812
Linn27110
Klamath2012
Hood River1810
Wasco1813
Benton1646
Douglas1481
Josephine1132
Columbia910
Coos900
Clatsop840
Crook431
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10475196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8760136
Ventura803582
San Francisco732664
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5978120
Marin525778
Monterey515635
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
San Luis Obispo204716
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte960
Siskiyou920
Inyo863
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
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