New York vows court action as Trump mulls sending federal troops

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: Jul 22, 2020, 07:28 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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The White House has, however, denied accusations of abuse of power, insisting the agents are needed to protect federal buildings targeted by anti-racism demonstrators.

Trump's decision to have federal law enforcement troops intervene in local anti-racism protests has sparked anger and legal questions. Some of these agents don't even wear identification badges.

New York would go to court to stop US President Donald Trump sending federal agents to the city, as he puts law and order at the forefront of his re-election bid.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security deployed Border Patrol police and federal marshals at Portland, Oregon, to tackle anti-racism protests.

Trump said they had done "a fantastic job" locking up "anarchists," and threatened to deploy the military-garbed law enforcement agents to other Democrat-led cities.

He called the move necessary, even claiming Chicago was "worse than Afghanistan," but critics labelled it an election year political stunt. 

To this end, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was mulling court action.

Also read | After Portland, Trump will send 'unknown' forces to 'liberal Democrat' cities to muzzle protests

Also, the mayors of six major cities -- Atlanta, Washington, Seattle, Chicago, Portland and Kansas City -- said in a letter to Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Attorney General Bill Barr that the uninvited paramilitary deployments violate the Constitution.

Oregon has sued DHS for rights violations, while the state's governor, Kate Brown, demanded that the officers be withdrawn, calling the deployment a political "photo op."

The White House has, however, denied accusations of abuse of power, insisting the agents are needed to protect federal buildings targeted by anti-racism demonstrators.

Since African-American man George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality, Trump has sought to paint the demonstrators as radical leftists intent on destroying the country.

WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAID

Trump is using the protests -- and upticks in crime following them -- to rally support from his conservative base, Democrats say.

"We're looking at Chicago, too. We're looking at New York," Trump told reporters on Monday, also singling out Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland. 

Also read | US virus crisis to ‘get worse before it gets better’, warns Donald Trump

"Look at what's going on. All run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats, all run really by radical left. We can't let this happen to the city."

According to reports, the DHS was preparing to send 150 paramilitary personnel to Chicago, which has high levels of violent crime, after police there clashed with demonstrators seeking to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said no decision had been made but added that the city's Democratic mayor is "clearly unable to control her streets.

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