Tags: George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | aclu | homeland security | marshals | portland

ACLU Sues DHS, Federal Agents for Portland Protests Response

police arrest a protester in portland oregon.
Police arrest a protester in Portland, Oregon. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 17 July 2020 10:19 PM

The ACLU has added the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service as defendants in a lawsuit it previously filed against Portland, Oregon, police, accusing them of targeting journalists and observers covering riots and protests in the city.

The suit seeks a temporary restraining order against the law enforcement agencies from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against reporters or observers unless they "reasonably know" that person has committed a crime, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The lawsuit comes as Portland continued to experience a seventh consecutive week of protests, causing a reported $23 million in damages and lost revenue following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Officers from the U.S. Marshals, the Federal Protective Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have rotated through the city to protect federal property such as the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Pioneer Courthouse, and the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, as well as Terry Schrunk Plaza despite Democrat and Mayor Ted Wheeler's protests.

ACLU attorneys argued before U.S. District Judge Michael Simon, who permitted the federal agencies be added to the suit, that federal agents have been coordinating with the Portland Police Bureau.

The plaintiffs claim, among other things, that on the night of July 11 and morning of July 12, dozens of federal agents "began a campaign of wholesale violence." Later in the evening, the ACLU says, Portland police joined the agents, working in tandem with them to clear the streets.

"Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality," Kelly Simon, interim legal director with the ACLU of Oregon, said in a statement.

On Tuesday night, Portland police sought to disperse protestors and said they were met with a fusillade of paint, ball bearings, bricks, and glass bottles.

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The ACLU has added the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service as defendants in a lawsuit it previously filed against Portland, Oregon, police, accusing them of targeting journalists and observers covering riots and protests in the city.
aclu, homeland security, marshals, portland
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2020-19-17
Friday, 17 July 2020 10:19 PM
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