Fed agents staying in Portland until police 'cleanup', repeats Trump

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Aug 01, 2020, 11.58 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump tweeted late Friday: "Homeland Security is not leaving Portland until local police complete cleanup of Anarchists and Agitators!"

US federal officers will stay in the protest-wracked city of Portland until local law enforcement officials finish a "cleanup of anarchists and agitators," President Donald Trump has repeated.

Trump tweeted late Friday: "Homeland Security is not leaving Portland until local police complete cleanup of Anarchists and Agitators!"

The forces had been scheduled to begin their phased pullout from Portland on Thursday. Their deployment was seen by many as part of the president's law-and-order strategy for re-election and exacerbated tensions between authorities and anti-racism protesters.

×

Trump, on Thursday, had reiterated the need for federal intervention.

"The governor and the mayor, we've been dealing with them, and we think they don't know what they're doing, because this should not have been going on for 60 days," he told reporters. 

"It's not our job to go in and clean out the cities. That's supposed to be done by local law enforcement," Trump added.

Hundreds of demonstrators were still on the streets of downtown Portland on Friday night, without any federal law enforcement in sight.

The Trump administration by July end had sent federal tactical teams, many wearing combat-like gear, to intervene in the city after weeks of protests against racism and police brutality saw windows broken and graffiti scrawled on the federal courthouse and other buildings.

But their deployment inflamed the situation, especially following footage of protesters being snatched off the street by federal agents and put into unmarked cars.

Democrats said the intervention reeked of a "police state" and that it was a political move to show Trump -- who is struggling in the polls ahead of November's presidential election -- to voters as a strict law-and-order president.

Under an agreement between Oregon officials and the Trump administration on Wednesday, the federal forces were to begin withdrawing from the city on Thursday. However, their pullout was conditional on local law enforcement ensuring the security of the federal courthouse and other buildings that have been targeted by protesters.

Read in App