‘They Are Criminals, Not Demonstrators,’ CBP Commissioner Says About Portland Riots

A Black Lives Matter protester carries a shield while facing off against federal officers at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Monday, July 20, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Officers used teargas and projectiles to move the crowd after some protesters tore down a fence fronting the courthouse. (AP …
AP Photo/Noah Berger

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told Breitbart Texas that oft-called demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, are “criminals–not demonstrators.” His comments come after weeks of actions by Border Patrol agents assisting federal law enforcement in the protection of government buildings in Portland.

Commissioner Morgan told Breitbart that the Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC unit from El Paso, Texas, has been deployed to the Rose City to assist Federal Protective Service (FPS) police and U.S. Marshals in defending federal properties from rioters.

“We have several United States Border Patrol agents that are from our elite tactical team BORTAC as a supporting element to the FPS and the United States Marshals who have statutory responsibility for protection of federal buildings,” Morgan said in laying out why Border Patrol agents are in Portland. “It is part of a whole-of-government approach” responding to protests and riots in the city.

“It is so frustrating when I hear these individuals referred to as demonstrators or protesters,” the commissioner said. “They’re not. They are criminals.”

“They are coordinating and planning with wilful intent to destroy federal property and seriously injure federal officers and agents,” Morgan explained. “What they are doing, every single night, they are getting together, they are coordinating, they are organizing with a willful intent to destroy federal property and injure federal agents and officers. They come prepared every single night with deadly weapons, commercial-grade fireworks, lasers, frozen water bottles, rocks, and hammers.”

“Just the other night, they established a plywood barrier that they inserted nails and put it up against one of the doors so that if a federal agent came out, they would come in contact with the nails and seriously injure themselves,” Morgan continued. “We recently discovered what is allegedly a pipe bomb in one of the satchels. It’s criminal. It’s 100 percent criminal every single night.”

Protest organizers in Portland expressed outrage after CBP officers or agents allegedly arrested a “protester” and put him in an unmarked vehicle. CBP officials later reported that CBP agents identified a suspect involved in allegedly assaulting agents or destroying federal property. The statement continues:

Once CBP agents approached the suspect, a large and violent mob moved towards their location. For everyone’s safety, CBP agents quickly moved the suspect to a safer location for further questioning. The CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter. The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.

Morgan continued the interview stating that what is happening in Portland has nothing to do with the death of George Floyd.

“This is about furthering an ideological belief that has nothing to do with what happened to George Floyd,” the commissioner concluded. “I defy anyone, any politician, to justify why somebody’s going to bring a pipe bomb, a rock, a frozen water bottle, a laser, a hammer, or nails in a plywood board to merely protest. I defy anyone to justify that behavior — they can’t. It’s criminal and they should be held accountable for what’s going on.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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