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In Portland, Questions Swirl Around Local Police’s Coordination With Federal Officers
by Arun Gupta
Posted July 25, 2020

federal troops coordinated with Portland policePortland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty agrees with other elected officials in Oregon who say federal police dispatched to the city by President Donald Trump are an “occupying army,” represent “a blatant abuse of power,” and are “shadowy forces” that have been “escalating, not preventing, violence.”

For more than a month before the federal forces came, local police had already been clashing with protesters. “Portland police overreacted at people throwing bottles at them,” Hardesty said. “They started gassing whole neighborhoods. They were doing that long before the feds showed up.”

Violence by city police motivated many protesters to stay in the streets, but by July, the protests had dwindled to a couple hundred people. The federal assault on the city began on July 1, when federal agents began openly targeting Black Lives Matter supporters. Their presence became national news following a U.S. Marshal shooting a nonaggressive protester in the face with less-lethal munitions on July 12 and, days later, reports and videos of unidentified Border Patrol agents in camouflage grabbing people off the street, stuffing them into unmarked vehicles, and driving off. News coverage of the federal agents’ tactics led to a boom in protests: Thousands now show up nightly to the courthouse to demonstrate, this time against the federal police presence. More…