Oregon Officials Agree to Surge State Police in Portland to Quell Civil Unrest

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 17: Federal officers prepare to disperse the crowd of protestors outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on July 17, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Federal law enforcement agencies attempt to intervene as protests continue in Portland. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images)
Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Oregon officials have agreed to flood Portland, overwhelmed by violent protests on a nightly basis, with state police officers to address the civil unrest in the city, Gov. Kate Brown (D) indicated Wednesday.

Brown, in a claim disputed by some federal officials, announced that some federal units would withdraw from Portland and would be replaced by Oregon State Police officers, who will “protect Oregonians’ right to free speech and keep the peace.”

“After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland,” Brown announced on Wednesday, stating that officers have “acted as an occupying force & brought violence.”

“Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland,” she claimed:

Vice President Mike Pence’s (R) office affirmed that federal law enforcement presence will remain in Portland “until violence directed toward federal law enforcement officers and the federal courthouse is brought to an end by state and local authorities” and added that Pence “welcomes Governor Brown’s decision to deploy the Oregon State Police to Portland.”

“Earlier this week, Vice President Pence informed Governor Kate Brown that federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until violence directed toward federal law enforcement officers and the federal courthouse is brought to an end by state and local authorities,” Pence press secretary Devin O’Malley said in a statement.

He continued:

The Vice President was very clear that law and order must be restored in Portland.  Vice President Pence welcomes Governor Brown’s decision to deploy the Oregon State Police to Portland and is confident that federal, state and local law enforcement can end the violence directed at federal properties and law enforcement officers. and restore peace to the streets of the city.

Notably, Chad Wolf, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, struck a similar tone as the vice president’s office and stated that DHS “will not back down from our legal duty to protect federal law enforcement officers and federal properties in the face of violent criminal behavior”:

 Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) reacted to Brown’s announcement, praising her “willingness to step in with State resources.”

“Federal agents nearly killed a demonstrator, and their presence has led to increased violence and vandalism in our downtown core,” he claimed in a lengthy Twitter thread.

“The Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, & Portland Police Bureau will continue working together to keep Portlanders safe, and the Governor and I have given clear direction: we expect that they will continue engaging only if there is violent criminal activity,” he added:

The apparent decision follows weeks of violent chaos erupting in Portland on a nightly basis. Protesters, equipped with gas masks, hockey sticks, umbrellas, fireworks, power tools, and in some cases, Molotov cocktails, have targeted federal courthouse, and federal officers, consistently.

“If the Federal Government and its brilliant Law Enforcement (Homeland) didn’t go into Portland one week ago, there would be no Portland — It would be burned and beaten to the ground,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday.

“If the Mayor and Governor do not stop the Crime and Violence from the Anarchists and Agitators immediately, the Federal Government will go in and do the job that local law enforcement was supposed to do!” he added:

Attorney General William Barr, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, laid out the reality of the protests and concluded that what “unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called ‘protest.’”

“Every night for the past two months a mob of hundreds of rioters have laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property. The rioters have come equipped for fighting. Armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledge hammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosives devices,” he said:

Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) celebrated on Tuesday, announcing the withdrawal of federal forces from Seattle, which experienced an explosion of violence over the weekend, resulting in 59 injured officers:


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