(Natural News) It’s becoming increasingly clear that Portland’s mayor and some other city officials are not interested in bringing a sense of order back to their city if it means admitting that the Trump administration may be doing something right by sending in help.
Portland has seen more than 50 days of unrest and daily riots since George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis. Although protests initially broke out in cities throughout the nation, the clashes in Portland have been particularly persistent. They’ve also been largely taken over by antifa and other anarchist groups, who have been attacking a federal courthouse there as well as police and federal agents.
City officials are demanding that the Trump administration withdraw federal agents who have been helping control protesters who are attacking the city. Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, has called the federal agents Trump’s “personal army” and demanded that they leave the city.
Of course, the federal agents there are in no way part of anyone’s “personal army.” Instead, they’re part of a group that was set up to help protect federal property like the under-attack Hatfield Federal Courthouse and monuments. The federal agents in Portland and other cities are part of the Protecting American Communities Task Force, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In other words, they are federal law enforcement agents defending federal property.
Mayor Wheeler said: “This is part of a coordinated strategy of Trump’s White House to use federal troops to bolster his sagging polling data, and it is an absolute abuse of federal law enforcement officials.”
In Wheeler’s world, having federal law enforcement officials do their job is “abuse.”
Federal agents told to “pack up and go home”
An undeterred Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement: “We won’t stand idly by while violent anarchists and rioters seek not only to vandalize and destroy the symbols of our nation, but to disrupt law and order and sow chaos in our communities.”
He personally headed to Portland to supervise federal efforts there, and he criticized local law enforcement in the city for failing to get tough with “violent anarchists.”
Speaking to Fox News, he said that after offering more assistance to the mayor and other local officials, he was told to “pack up and go home” – something he said is “just not going to happen on my watch.”
He also accused local officials of “fostering an environment that continues to breed this type of lawlessness.”
Authorities say security offers were clearly identified
Wolf also denied claims by some in Portland that the security officers weren’t displaying identification, insisting they wore identifying markings.
One Portland protester whined that being brought into federal custody was ”like being preyed upon” because he couldn’t tell whether those arresting him were police or far-right extremists.
The commissioner of the CBP, Mark Morgan, has said that his agents are clearly marked with unique identifiers but names don’t appear on their uniforms so criminals can’t use that information to target them and their families.
The truth is that if Portland was managing the situation better, federal officers might not be needed there. On Monday night, agents had to use tear gas to disperse big crowds of protesters who were gathered outside the courthouse and throwing projectiles; some of them were armed with hammers.
Over the weekend, protesters dismantled fencing that had been placed around the courthouse to protect it. The Portland Police Association building was set on fire by rioters, and some officers were injured as demonstrators threw rocks. Neighbors have pointed out that the PPA building is in a neighborhood where many families live.
It’s unacceptable that the city is rejecting help in controlling angry, armed crowds that are taking over its streets and putting countless lives in danger in their efforts to place blame on law enforcement and the Trump administration. They have failed for more than 50 days, so how do they expect anyone to believe they’re going to get it under control now? Despite the mayor’s insistence that they go away, Wolf has said that federal agents won’t leave the city until the violence has stopped.
Sources for this article include: