PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s attorney general is seeking an order to stop federal agents from arresting people in Portland as the city continues to be convulsed by nightly protests that have gone on for seven weeks and have now pitted local officials against the Trump administration.
Federal agents, some wearing camouflage and some wearing dark Homeland Security uniforms, used tear gas at least twice to break up crowds late Friday night.
Demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality have happened daily in Oregon’s largest city since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd on May 25.
President Donald Trump has decried the disorder, and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted the protesters as “lawless anarchists.”
"Earlier today I directed that staff who are part of federal agency operations are no longer allowed to co-locate with the police bureau’s incident command. While sharing a space helped facilitate clear communication, based on recent actions by federal law enforcement officers I am not comfortable having them in our space," Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted Saturday.
Gov. Kate Brown said Friday the government's moves were "political theater."
"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. 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 wrote on Twitter. "I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me 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."