Oregon lawmakers intro bill to block ‘shadowy paramilitary’

2020 Protests

Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act has many co-sponsors

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As federal agents continue to clash with protesters on the streets of Portland and President Trump threatening to send federal troops to other US cities with protests, Oregon’s federal lawmakers announced a bill to block the Trump Administration from continuing.

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden plus Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici will introduce the Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act.

If passed, this bill “would block the Trump administration from deploying federal forces as a shadowy paramilitary against Americans,” a release from Merkley’s office said.

This act was also introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate is currently debating.

According to the authors, this bill would:

  • Require individual and agency identification on uniforms of officers and prevent unmarked vehicles from being used in arrests
  • Limit federal agents’ crowd control activities to federal property and its immediate vicinity, unless their presence is specifically requested by both the mayor and governor
  • Require disclosure on an agency website within 24 hours of deployments specifying the number of personnel and purposes of deployment
  • Make arrests in violation of these rules unlawful

Along with Oregon’s senators, the bill has 19 Senate co-sponsors: Chris Murphy, Bernie Sanders, Chris Van Hollen, Edward J. Markey, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Patty Murray, Sherrod Brown, Richard Durbin, Maria Cantwell, Tammy Baldwin, Angus King, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Martin Heinrich, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth and Michael Bennet.

Sanders and King are independents. The rest are Democrats.

In the House, co-sponsors include Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District of Columbia.

“What we have seen in the last 10 days in Portland has been horrific and unconscionable,” said Merkley. “These are the actions of an authoritarian regime, not a democratic republic. This gross violation of Americans’ civil rights must end immediately.”

“Donald Trump’s occupying army continues to trample on the constitutional rights of Oregonians and escalate violence against peaceful protesters,” Wyden said. “If Congress doesn’t step in, these authoritarian tactics won’t stop in my hometown. If it can happen in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”

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