The attorney general for the US state of Oregon has filed a lawsuit against the Federal administration on Saturday, alleging it of unlawfully detaining people participating in peaceful protests. Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there have been nightly protests against police brutality in Portland.
Some federal officers appeared in unmarked vehicles this week to forcefully seize the demonstrators from the streets and detain them without any justification. Meanwhile, the Federal government has maintained that it is doing everything to restore law and order in the city.
Federal security troops, deployed on the orders of the Republican President Donald Trump, have also fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protesters. Chad Wolf, the Homeland Security Secretary, called the protesters a ‘’violent bomb’’.
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Later, on Saturday, the local media reported that protesters were seen tearing down the fence outside the federal courthouse, a few hours after it was put up. The office of US attorney general in Oregon said on Twitter that the fence aimed to deescalate tension between the law enforcement agencies and the protesters and asked people to leave it alone.
Ellen Rosenblum, the Attorney General of Oregon, in her lawsuit requested a restraining order to stop the federal law enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security officers, US Marshals, US Customs, Border protection, and Federal Protection Service from making any arrests in the city.
She further said in a statement that these unlawful tactics by the federal government must stop as these make it impossible for people to assert their constitutional right to protest peacefully. Rosenblum accused the federal government of using scare tactics to stop the residents of Oregon from protesting against police brutality and systematic racism.
The lawsuit filed by Oregon’s attorney general accuses the federal officers of violating the fifth and fourth amendment by detaining and seizing peaceful protesters without any warrant and denying them due process.
Kate Brown, the governor of Oregon this week accused the federal agents of blatant misuse of power. Earlier this week, a report from the Oregon Public Broadcasting contained several witnesses who had seen federal agents disguised in camouflage emerge from unmarked vehicles, grab demonstrators without justifications, and drive off.
According to the local media reports, this week has seen violent escalation between the federal law enforcement agencies and protesters. Nearly two weeks earlier President Donald Trump deployed the federal agents in the city to quell the unrest.
The report by OPB highlighted that at least since July 14, federal officers have been appearing out of unmarked vehicles across the city and grabbing demonstrators seemingly without any reason. It further added that they have charged at least 13 people for crimes related to protests.
Meanwhile, the acting secretary of homeland security has defended the federal officers and accused the local authorities of failing to restore law and order in the city. Trump also lauded the efforts of the agents this week, saying that they had done a great job.
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