PORTLAND, Ore.—Video and reports of federal agents in combat uniforms snatching people off the street and shoving them into unmarked cars have heightened concerns about the militarized federal officers deployed in Portland. The Portland Police Bureau and the Trump administration have responded to nightly protests in Portland over the police killing of George Floyd by indiscriminately using tear gas, rubber bullets, and acoustic weapons against protesters, journalists, and legal observers, even after the federal court enjoined such violence. The federal officers also shot a protester in the head Sunday with a rubber bullet fracturing the person’s face and skull.
Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, had the following comment:
“What is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the United States. Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping. The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.
“Under the direction of the Trump administration, militarized federal agents have flaunted court orders protecting the rights of protesters, using sharpshooters to deliberately maim people and deploying indiscriminate weapons of war—including sonic weapons and dangerous tear gas formulations.
“The acting director of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, referred to Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland as ‘thugs.’ Protesters in Portland have been shot in the head, swept away in unmarked cars, and repeatedly tear gassed by uninvited and unwelcome federal agents. We won’t rest until they are gone.”
Photos of militarized federal agents, credit Doug Brown/ACLU of Oregon, are online here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5sd70hcisxy5o9q/AADluzJOuBdycZi5mWpZCZKra?dl=0.