Trump administration plans to withdraw some federal security forces from Portland

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Trump administration plans to withdraw some federal security forces from Portland

The Trump administration plans to withdraw some federal security forces from Portland, Oregon, after weeks of clashes with protesters.

US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the pullout was conditional on local police protecting federal buildings, the focal point of the unrest.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said federal agents would begin to leave the state's largest city starting Thursday.

Portland has been rocked by 62 straight days of protests.

What did federal and state officials say?

In his statement, the US Secretary of Homeland Security did not set any timetable for a withdrawal.

But he said he and the governor had "agreed to a joint plan to end the violent activity in Portland directed against federal property and law enforcement officials."

“This plan includes a strong Oregon State Police presence in downtown Portland. "

He added that "state and local law enforcement will begin to secure properties and streets, especially surrounding federal properties, which were attacked overnight."

The governor tweeted Wednesday: “They acted as an occupying force and brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection and ICE officers will be leaving downtown Portland. "

But she added that federal agents from the US Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service will remain at the courthouse, where they are usually based.

After the announcement, Mr. Trump, a Republican, declared victory by tweeting: "If the federal government and its brilliant law enforcement (Homeland) weren't going to Portland a week ago, there is would not have Portland.

“He would be burned and shot. If the mayor and governor don't immediately stop the crime and violence of anarchists and aggressors, the federal government will go and do the job that local law enforcement was supposed to do! "

Federal agent with handheld device attempts to disperse large crowd July 20, 2020Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
LegendFederal officers attempted to disperse the crowds as they began to gather earlier in the evening on Monday

What happened in Portland?

Federal officers were sent there on July 4 to protect federal buildings that were vandalized during weeks of protests against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in may.

Their deployment has exacerbated civil unrest, especially when footage of protesters was seized from the streets by federal agents and forced into unmarked cars.

Portland Governor and Mayor Ted Wheeler, both Democrats, complained that he never called for federal intervention, calling it the coup of the President's election year.

The Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse in the city center has become a nighttime battleground, with federal officers and protesters injured in bloody clashes.

According to oregonlive.com , doctors, journalists and legal observers were also injured by rubber bullets and pepper bullets fired by federal agents.

Along with the crackdown in Portland, the Trump administration sent federal agents to several Democrat-ridden US cities shaken by rising gun crime: Chicago, Kansas City, and Albuquerque.

The US Department of Justice said on Wednesday that it would also send federal officers to three other Democratic-led US cities - Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee - due to "the worrying increase in violent crime, particularly homicides."

This article appeared first on: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53589275

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