‘Not comfortable having them in our space’: Portland mayor orders feds to be kicked out of police incident HQ as riots grip city

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he has banned federal officers, who were deployed to the city to protect federal property, from sharing headquarters with police amid claims they whisk “peaceful protesters” away in unmarked cars.

“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,” Wheeler tweeted on Saturday.

Although the Democrat mayor acknowledged that “sharing a space” advanced cooperation between local and federal law enforcement, allowing for clearer communication, he said that “recent actions” by federal officers made them unwelcome on the city grounds.

Wheeler was apparently referring to widely-publicized reports of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers snatching protesters from the streets in unmarked vehicles. Black Lives Matter activists allege that CBP officers did not wear any insignia, apart from generic police patches, likening them to “kidnappers.”

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CBP denied the allegations, insisting that while officers did not sport name tags due to the increasingly common “doxxing” attacks on law enforcement, they did wear CBP insignia.

“Our personnel are clearly marked as federal LEOs and have unique identifiers. You will not see names on their uniforms b/c these same violent criminals use this information to target them & their families, putting both at risk,”  Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Mark A. Morgan tweeted, firing back at the accusations.

Referring to activists involved in vandalism as “criminals,” Morgan went on to charge that since the federal reinforcement arrived in Portland, they have seen protesters engaging in behavior which could hardly be described as “peaceful.” He said protesters would use sledgehammers and plywood with nails on federal property, as well as attacking officers with commercial-grade fireworks, lasers, rocks, and other projectiles.

Wheeler’s directive has attracted pushback online, failing to strike a chord with either proponents or critics of the feds’ deployment to the city.

Others pointed out that, if anything, Wheeler was himself to blame for the presence of federal officers in Portland, since he has let the violence continue unchecked for 50 days and counting since the unrest began.

 

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