By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
Oregon’s Democratic governor and other state lawmakers are demanding that President Donald Trump immediately remove all federal law enforcement officials from the streets of Portland after alarming video footage posted online late Thursday showed unidentified officers dressed in combat fatigues arresting Black Lives Matter protesters without explanation and throwing them into unmarked vehicles.
“This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”
Brown said she told Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to “remove all federal officers from our streets” but he refused, claiming that Portland “has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob.”
Wolf’s response, said Brown, shows “he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way.”
“This, coming from the same President who used tear gas to clear out peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. to engineer a photo opportunity,” she added.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday that “federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14.”
“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,” OPB reported.