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29 Jul, 2020 18:06

Governor says ‘occupying force’ that brought ‘violence’ to Portland is LEAVING – DHS says feds will stay until order restored

Governor says ‘occupying force’ that brought ‘violence’ to Portland is LEAVING – DHS says feds will stay until order restored

Oregon’s governor claims she reached a deal with the Trump administration that will see a withdrawal of federal agents that were sent to Portland after a courthouse was attacked, but DHS says they are staying until violence stops.

“After discussions with the vice president and administration officials this week, the federal government has agreed to my demand and will withdraw these officers from Portland,” Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown said.

Part of the agreement will involve state troopers providing protection for federal buildings like the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse, which is where federal agents had been deployed after protesters attempted to burn it down, she added.

In her announcement, Brown called the federal authorities an “occupying force” and claimed they “brought violence” to the city, despite the fact that they were only deployed in the first place because protests had turned to rioting and damage to federal property.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced in his own statement about the agreement that there will be a “robust presence” of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland to ensure federal buildings and law enforcement officers do not become the targets of Black Lives Matter protesters.

“The violent criminal activity directed towards federal properties and law enforcement will not be tolerated, state and local leaders must step forward and police their communities,” Wolf said, warning that the Department of Homeland Security will not tolerate such “criminal behavior.” 

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In later tweets, Wolf clarified that federal agents will not be leaving until they know local authorities can properly protect law enforcement officers and federal property. 

“We will maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure,” he wrote.

Wolf also said he is glad Oregon is “correcting their months-long error.”

Hours before Brown’s announcement, President Donald Trump told the press at the White House that federal agents would not be leaving “until they secure their city” and warned that if it was not “secure soon,” the federal government will have no choice but to “go in and clean it out.”

The president later doubled down on these thoughts in tweets claiming “there would be no Portland” if the federal government had not stepped in, and they will do so again if Brown and Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, “do not stop the crime and violence.”

This comes less than a day after Attorney General William Barr’s tense hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee, where several Democrats questioned Barr’s decision to deploy federal authorities to the city of Portland, accusing agents of excessive force and of violating the rights of demonstrators.

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