DHS and Oregon State Reach Joint Deal on Securing Federal Properties

PORTLAND, OREGON - JULY 28: Federal police clean in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 28, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. For over 56 straight nights, protesters in downtown Portland have faced off in often violent …
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) reached an agreement to end violence and protect federal property in Portland, the department announced Wednesday.

“That plan includes a robust presence of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland. State and local law enforcement will begin securing properties and streets, especially those surrounding federal properties, that have been under nightly attack for the past two months. Oregon State Police will coordinate with Federal Protective Service (FPS) officers to ensure all federal facilities remain protected and secure,” the statement said.

“This plan is possible due to the valiant efforts of the DHS law enforcement officers protecting federal property in Portland from violent activity for the past two months,” it added.

Brown announced that as part of the plan, federal law enforcement officers would be leaving, which was quickly disputed by Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. Brown tweeted:

After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland. They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland.

Our local Oregon State Police officers will be downtown to protect Oregonians’ right to free speech and keep the peace. Let’s center the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands for racial justice and police accountability. It’s time for bold action to reform police practices.

Wolf tweeted about an hour, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf disputed that federal law enforcement officers were leaving Portland or backing down from “our legal duty to protect federal law enforcement officers and federal properties.” He tweeted:

We will maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure.

.@DHSgov will not back down from our legal duty to protect federal law enforcement officers and federal properties in the face of violent criminal behavior.

In an earlier statement, the DHS said it would continue to re-evaluate its security posture in Portland and if circumstances on the ground “significantly improve due to the influx of state and local law enforcement,” it would anticipate the ability to change its stance.

President Donald Trump insisted that federal law enforcement presence would remain until the riots ended.

“You hear all sorts of reports about us leaving. We’re not leaving until they’ve secured their city. We told the governor, we told the mayor: Secure your city.’ If they don’t secure their city soon, we have no choice — we’re going to have to go in and clean it out. We’ll do it very easily. We’re all prepared to do it,” he told reporters.

“So, in Portland, they either clean out their city and do the job and get rid of the anarchists and agitators, which is what they are. They’re not protesters; they’re anarchists and agitators. We have many in jail. Many of them have been put in jail. It’s going to be a long sentence. They either clean out their city and do it right, or we’re going to have to do it for them,” he added.

Violent protests have continued for months in Portland, with rioters attempting to destroy federal buildings, prompting the Trump administration to send in federal law enforcement officers to protect them.

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