The Department of Homeland Security has sent in armed personnel to help quell protests in Portland.
Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC, have been sent to Portland to protect federal buildings and property. Officials have charged at least 13 people with crimes related to the protests, while several others have been arrested and released.
Members of the DHS special security group have been using unmarked cars to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 13, several of which have been caught on video by protesters.
What is this? They are kidnapping people. pic.twitter.com/M0AnuZ1GSi
— Cozca (@KohzKah) July 15, 2020
This is the most insane image from Portland last night. Don’t let anyone ignore what’s happening there.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 17, 2020
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf defended the crackdown. “Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city,” he wrote in a letter on Thursday.
“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice. To attack it is to attack America.”
War-like scenes tonight in downtown Portland as antifa and BLM rioters attack the federal courthouse in an attempt to storm it. They are pushed back by federal police who use tear gas, pepper balls and more. Video by @VenturaReport: pic.twitter.com/yHwNQmtjcz
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 12, 2020
President Trump hinted at tougher actions coming down the pike aimed at keeping protesters from becoming. He said an announcement will be made next week.
Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan echoed the sentiments. “I don’t want to get ahead of the president and his announcement,” Morgan said, “but the Department of Justice is going to be involved in this, DHS is going to be involved in this; and we’re really going to take a stand across the board. And we’re going to do what needs to be done to protect the men and women of this country.”