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22 Jul, 2020 05:22

‘We won’t retreat’: DHS chief defends ‘proactive arrests’ amid Portland riots, stokes Minority Report dystopia outcry (VIDEOS)

‘We won’t retreat’: DHS chief defends ‘proactive arrests’ amid Portland riots, stokes Minority Report dystopia outcry (VIDEOS)

The head of the Department of Homeland Security set off alarms after saying that federal agents were making ‘proactive’ arrests in Portland amid heated protests, drawing comparisons to the dystopian “pre-crime” of Minority Report.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf appeared on a Fox News segment on Tuesday night, discussing the ongoing protests and rioting across Portland, which he says have continued for “52 nights in a row” as federal officers there are stretched to the limit.

“Because we don’t have that local law enforcement support, we are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals, and we need to do that because we need to hold them accountable,” Wolf told Fox’s Martha MacCallum.

This idea that [protesters] can attack federal property and law enforcement officers and go to the other side of the street and say ‘you can’t touch me’ is ridiculous. We don’t do that in any other type of law enforcement.

The comments soon inspired countless comparisons to Minority Report, Philip K. Dick’s 1956 classic in which a technologically advanced police division sniffs out “pre-crime,” locking up hapless suspects before they commit any offense.

Some argued that “proactive arrests” are “not a thing” under US law, apparently referring to the need for probable cause, while other critics said federal agents were effectively kidnapping “innocent” and “peaceful” protesters.

The DHS says the protests have not remained peaceful, insisting it has been “forced” to make arrests to keep agents safe, with Wolf repeatedly citing lack of support from local police.

Also on rt.com Trump sends in the feds – when mayors let Antifa riots fester, what did they think would happen?

“What is occurring in Portland in the early hours of every morning is not peaceful protesting,” Wolf said at a Tuesday press briefing, adding “If you are a violent rioter looking to inflict damage to federal property or law enforcement officers, you need to find another line of work.”

We will not retreat. We will continue to protect our facilities and our law enforcement officers.

A growing number of federal agents have been deployed to Portland in recent weeks as protests rage on in the city – kicked off in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in police custody in May. Under an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump in late June, a federal task force was created to protect historical monuments and other federal property from vandalism, which have become a frequent target for activists. Since the deployment began, reports have emerged from the city that unmarked agents are snatching demonstrators off the streets, some seemingly at random, however the DHS insists its tactics are legal.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Antifa and parents set up ‘shield walls’ as protesters lay siege to Portland federal courthouse

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