Tags: protests | democrats | portland | barr | wolf

House Dems Demand Probe Into Use of Force at Portland Protests

House Dems Demand Probe Into Use of Force at Portland Protests

Police respond to protesters during a demonstration, Friday, July 17, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Militarized federal agents deployed by the president to Portland, Oregon, fired tear gas against protesters again overnight as the city’s mayor demanded that the agents be removed and as the state’s attorney general vowed to seek a restraining order against them. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

Sunday, 19 July 2020 04:03 PM

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives asked the internal watchdogs for the Justice and Homeland Security departments to launch an investigation into whether they have "abused emergency authorities" in order to justify targeting peaceful protesters last week in Portland, Oregon.

In a joint letter to the inspectors general for the Justice and Homeland Security departments, lawmakers said they were concerned that Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf were using federal agents to "suppress First Amendment protected activities in Washington, D.C., Portland and other communities."

Inspectors general sit inside executive branch agencies, having a unique duty to report their findings to both Congress and agency heads.

The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.

"This is a matter of utmost urgency," they wrote. "Citizens are concerned that the Administration has deployed a secret police force, not to investigate crimes, but to intimidate individuals it views as political adversaries."

The crackdown in the liberal bastion of Portland drew widespread criticism and legal challenges as videos surfaced reuters.com/article/us-global-race-protests-portland/u-s-swoops- down-on-portland-protesters-after-trump-order-to-protect-monumen ts-idUSKCN24I2W5 of camouflage-clad officers without clear identification badges using force and unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters without explanation.

Oregon's governor and Portland's mayor, both Democrats, called the move an abuse of power by the federal government and the state filed a lawsuit against the U.S. agencies involved.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, meanwhile, has also requested an investigation by the Homeland Security inspector general, and asked the Justice Department's internal watchdog to review the U.S. Marshals Service use of "less-lethal munitions."

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch Editing by Nick Zieminski)

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives asked the internal watchdogs for the Justice and Homeland Security departments to launch an investigation into whether they have "abused emergency authorities."
protests, democrats, portland, barr, wolf
281
2020-03-19
Sunday, 19 July 2020 04:03 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved