The mayor of Portland, in the northwestern United States, condemns the presence in his city by the federal police forces, which he says intensify the confrontations with the protesters.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called again on Sunday, July 19 for the resignation of federal lawmakers stationed in the northwestern city, saying they were operating with the violence that rocked the city for nearly two months.
“We have dozens, if not hundreds, of federal agents deployed in our city,” and they contribute to “seriously exacerbating the situation,” he told CNN. “Their presence causes more violence and more vandalism, it does not help (calm) the situation at all. They are not welcome and we want them to leave,” said the Democratic mayor.
I not only believe that he is breaking the law, but he is also endangering the lives of the Portlanders. His actions are unconstitutional.https://t.co/eBGw36edgh
– Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 19, 2020
Federal agents have been dispatched to end protests in front of the city court to protest against police medallion and racism.
The meetings, punctured by conflicts with the police, are regularly spread with tear gas. The protesters also tried to set fire to the headquarters of the city police association night to Saturday to Sunday, police said on Twitter.
“We must protect federal buildings and our people,” Donald Trump responded on Sunday, tweeting “missing” local leaders who have “lost control of anarchists and agitators for months.”
We’re trying to help Portland, not hurt it. For months, their leadership has lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not just protesters, this is the real deal!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2020
“People are literally kidnapped in unmarked rental cars”
The protests began after the death in late May of George Floyd, an African-American suffocated under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
Anger has intensified after a series of arrests of protesters on the streets of the city by police, without giving any reason.
“People are literally being abducted in unmarked rental cars,” said Ted Wheeler. “They do not know who puts them in the vehicles, (the police) do not identify themselves. In my opinion, this is unconstitutional.”
>> To read: USA: what future for the Black Lives Matter movement?
Human rights activists and US politicians strongly condemned the arrests on Friday (July 17), and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she would file a complaint against “fear tactics” of federal forces.
Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli acknowledged the arrests on Friday and said they were carried out on the streets to protect federal agents and take protesters suspected of violence “to a safe haven for questioning”. “We will arrest them in court, and if we locate them elsewhere, we will arrest them elsewhere,” he said on NPR’s public radio.