PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a letter to residents, Portland City Council Commissioner Chloe Eudaly blasted federal officers, calling their presence a “violent federal paramilitary occupation” and vowing to severe ties between them and the Portland Police Bureau as the city prepared for the 53rd night of consecutive protests.
The involvement and tactics of federal law enforcement agents in the ongoing protests in downtown Portland created nationwide headlines after reports of federal officers using unmarked vehicles to detain protesters emerged, in addition to the agents using force and tear gas against the demonstrators.
While acknowledging that “many elements” were out of the City Council’s control, Eudaly also vowed to hold Portland police accountable in addition to getting federal officers, which include agents from Homeland Security and Border Patrol, to leave the city. She also accused President Donald Trump and his “federal henchmen” of violating the U.S. Constitution with these tactics.
“Portland is just a test run,” she wrote, adding, “The Department Homeland Security has openly stated that they intend to replicate these tactics in cities across the nation.”
Eudaly’s condemnation of federal tactics and presence at the protests follows similar ones from Mayor Ted Wheeler and fellow Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and joins federal and state lawmakers in denouncing the federal actions.
Black Lives Matter demonstrations have rocked the Portland metro area since the killing of George Floyd in late May. The marches, in which thousands had taken part of, had waned in recent weeks; however, a steady contingent of protesters continued to show up outside of the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland, across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, on a near-nightly basis, sometimes leaving dumpster fires, graffiti or other acts of vandalism in their wake.
But by Monday night, thousands of Portlanders had again taken to the streets downtown, spurring a new sense of urgency in the demonstrations.