Oregon files suit against feds over protest response

2020 Protests

AG Ellen Rosenblum announced the lawsuit Friday night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the state Department of Justice will file a federal lawsuit against federal agencies for allegedly seizing and detaining protesters in Portland without probable cause.

The lawsuit comes one day after Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf came to Portland and denounced both the protesters and civic leaders.

Federal agents from both Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection were confirmed to be on the streets of Portland. Those agencies plus the US Marshals Service and the Federal Protection Service are named in the federal lawsuit filed by Rosenblum.

“…The current escalation of fear and violence in downtown Portland is being drive by federal law enforcement tactics that are entirely unnecessary and out of character with the Oregon way. These tactics must stop,” Rosenblum said in a Friday night statement. “They not only make it impossible for people to assert their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully. They also create a more volatile situation on our streets.”

Gov. Kate Brown, Mayor Ted Wheelers, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici have called for investigations into the tactics and deployment of the federal agents into Portland.

US Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams has also called for an investigation into the tactics of the federal officers.

Brown admitted she doesn’t have the authority to order the troops to leave, though she has made it clear she does not want them here in Portland.

“The federal administration has chosen Portland to use their scare tactics to stop our residents from protesting police brutality and from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement,” Rosenblum said. “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening . If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”

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