PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A “limited number” of federal agents have been deployed to Seattle, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced late Thursday.
In a series of tweets, Inslee said the agents are “on standby, if needed” and blasted the Trump administration for not being upfront after President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced the expansion of “Operation Legend,” which has been used to deploy more than 100 federal troops to Portland’s demonstrations near the federal courthouse.
“After a day of conflicting messages from the federal government, where they told my staff repeatedly that there was no surge of additional personnel to Seattle, it appears they’re doing just that,” he said.
Inslee also added he was concerned the extra forces would “aggravate the situation” by not listening to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.
“It is critical that the administration only provide what is needed by state and local officials, and do not engage unless asked,” he said.
Inslee’s announcement comes after officers with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals and Federal Protective Service were deployed to Portland in connection with President Donald Trump’s June executive order regarding the protection of federal monuments, which was a reaction to protests against racial injustice nationwide that resulted in the toppling of dozens of statues of controversial historical figures.
On Wednesday, Trump and Barr announced they were expanding “Operation Legend,” to multiple U.S. cities, including Chicago and Albuquerque. Federal troops are also in Kansas City, Missouri, following the shooting death of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro.
The deployment of federal officers in Portland has been met with significant controversy and condemnation from local, state and national leaders, and has resulted in the resurgence of protests in downtown Portland.