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.
based on recent actions by federal law enforcement officers I am not comfortable having them in our space.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 19, 2020
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.
.@CBP will continue to arrest the violent criminals that are destroying federal property & injuring our agents/officers in Portland. CBP will restore and maintain law & order. pic.twitter.com/fYgzpTwPWh
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) July 17, 2020
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.
Wow, what a decisive action, Mr. Mayor. Take a side, man. Right now the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens hate you for letting the violence continue, and Antifa hates you, I guess for not submitting to all of their demands. Great job!
— ClimbThaMtn (@MtnTha) July 19, 2020
It is absurd that they were there at all.
— PDX’er (@davidjohnsonpdx) July 19, 2020
So you lied for 50 days straight and now want credit for today.
— Gregory McKelvey (@GregoryMcKelvey) July 19, 2020
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.
Take care of YOUR OWN streets, grow a pair and take control of the situation and THE FEDS WON’T HAVE A REASON TO BE THERE, GENIUS !
— Jerry (@Jerry_lay_II) July 19, 2020
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