PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is calling its deployment to Portland for the ongoing protests “Operation Diligent Valor.”
The documents, filed by the DHS and U.S. Marshals in response to a lawsuit, reveal new information about the mission, which have re-energized the demonstrations against racial injustice that have taken place since late May.
The filing also revealed there are currently 114 federal officers in Portland and claimed a “rapid deployment force” is responding to “increasingly violent attacks” starting July 4.
It also claimed tactics are “intended to positively identify and arrest serious offenders … while protecting the rights of individuals engaged with free speech.”
Federal officers were ordered to the city following President Donald Trump’s executive order to protect monuments in June as protesters against racial injustice toppled statues of Confederate soldiers and slave-owning founding fathers across the U.S.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf slammed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was tear-gassed while attending the protests for the first time on Wednesday night, in an interview with CBS This Morning on Thursday, saying Wheeler “legitimized criminal behavior.”
Wolf has repeatedly described the protesters outside of the Multnomah County Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse as “violent anarchists,” and denied the notion federal officers inflamed the protests during his interview with CBS This Morning.
Thursday night is expected to be Night 56 outside of the Justice Center and the federal courthouse. Although some protests had been declared riots, including ones outside of the police union building and Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct, the demonstrations have seen a significant swelling in numbers since social media videos caught federal officers detaining protesters in unmarked vehicles.
Read the full filing below: