Clashes between federal law enforcement officers and violent protestors in Portland, Oregon have ratcheted up in recent days. By sending in special units of federal law enforcement to Portland – and soon to other major municipalities as well – President Trump is fulfilling his promise to protect federal buildings and monuments and help restore order to cities unwilling to do so.
Most of the cities in chaos happen to be Democrat-run.
In Portland, Trump has emphasized that after almost 60 continuous days of often violent protests and rioting, he sees these federal efforts as a last resort. “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators,” President Trump tweeted on Sunday.
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has called the protesters a “violent mob” and “anarchists.”
Not surprisingly, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has called the protests “peaceful,” and the federal officers, often wearing military-style tactical uniforms and gear as “unidentified Stormtroopers,” reported BBC News, others have called them “secret police.”
Much of the establishment media has breathlessly repeated exaggerated stories of these “secret” federal police officers, allegedly “kidnapping” “innocent” protesters and spiriting them away in unmarked vehicles (RELATED: The Media Are Driving the George Floyd Riots but Not in the Way You Think).
The truth is far different.
As described by BBC News, these officers “belong to a new federal force created last month in an executive order signed by President Trump which tasks them to protect historic monuments, memorials, statues, and federal facilities.” They are simply law enforcement personnel drawn mostly from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and the US Marshals Service’s Special Operations Group (SOG).
Some of the CPB officers seen in Portland are part of the agency’s swat team – or Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC). Meanwhile, the Marshal Service’s SOG is generally “deployed in high-risk and sensitive law enforcement situations, national emergencies, civil disorder, and natural disasters.”
BBC News also notes that the “Federal Protection Service, part of Homeland Security and charged with protecting government buildings, also has officers in Portland and has detained protesters.”
While there do appear to have been some incidents of these federal agents, using rented vehicles, temporarily detaining suspects and taking them to the federal courthouse, these have generally resulted in the suspects being released soon thereafter – usually within two hours – or formally charged and arrested. All have reportedly been read their Miranda Rights.
Referring to the arrest of one protester captured on video, the CBP said, according to BBC, that the individual was suspected of destroying federal property, adding that the agents had identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia. Name tags are not required of federal law enforcement officers, and some have deliberately omitted them due to threats made against them.
As the chaos in some cities continues, Trump has vowed to continue to use feds to bring law and order. “You’ll see something rolled out this week as we start to go in and make sure that the communities, whether it’s Chicago or Portland, or Milwaukee, or someplace across the heartland of the country, we need to make sure our communities are safe,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Sunday.
On Monday July 20, President Trump doubled down, adding in a public announcement reported by the Washington Post, “We’re looking at Chicago, too. We’re looking at New York,” he said. “All run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by the radical left.”
“This is worse than anything anyone’s ever seen,” Trump continued. “And you know what? If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell.”