DHS Secretary: Oregon officials’ delayed response to violence ‘unacceptable’

Protests

Comments follow Gov. Brown's 'Unified Law Enforcement Plan'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf continued to air his frustrations about the handling of the unrest in Portland on Monday following the arrests of 29 protesters outside of a Southeast Portland police facility overnight.

Wolf tweeted Monday that the situation officials have created was “unacceptable.”

Wolf’s pointed tweet comes on the heels of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Unified Law Enforcement Plan,” which calls for simultaneously protecting free speech and maintaining safety for demonstrators. In addition to expanding state and local resources for monitoring protests, the move also brings in FBI agents to investigate criminal activity. It’s unclear how many will be reassigned.

Just hours prior to Brown’s announcement, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler held a heated press conference in which he called out President Trump directly as the primary instigator of the city’s violent protests.

Wolf made an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday in which he said Oregon and Portland leaders had allowed an a dangerous situation to become exponentially worse.

“We’ve been asking Portland to do their job really for over three months now,” Wolf said. “What you see in Portland is an environment, they foster an environment of this lawlessness and chaos.”

Wolf claimed the Trump administration has been urging both Brown and Wheeler to send members of the National Guard to address the unrest.

More than 70 were arrested by federal authorities in July after Trump signed an executive order protecting federal monuments and buildings amid nationwide protests against systemic racial injustice and police brutality that resulted in vandalism.

The federal action in downtown Portland, which involved heavy use of tear gas and crowd control munitions, was roundly condemned by local, state and federal lawmakers. A detente was reached by Brown and Vice President Mike Pence by the end of July.

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