The Trump administration is sending at least 100 additional federal officers to Portland, Oregon, The Washington Post reported on Monday, as confrontations between anti-racism protesters and federal authorities have intensified.
The U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send 100 deputy marshals to fortify authorities guarding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, the Post said, citing an internal email. The Department of Homeland Security is considering sending 50 additional Customs and Border Protection personnel to the city, it said.
There were 114 federal agents in the city in mid-July, though the Post said it was unclear how many currently on duty might be sent home once additional agents arrive.
"The agency took steps to identify up to 100 personnel to send to the District of Oregon in case they were needed to relieve or supplement deputies permanently stationed in the district," Drew J. Wade, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, said in written statement, according to the Post. "They may also be used to rotate with personnel already sent there to support district operations during the civil unrest mission to insure the function and safety of judicial proceedings."
Portland has been a site of unrest even as protests across the country have died down following the death of George Floyd in police custody in late May. But Portland city officials as well as Oregon state officials have argued that the presence of federal officers, dressed in military gear, have made the situation worse, not better.
President Donald Trump has argued the officers are there to protect federal property and to do the job local officials are not. Federal officials also deny charges the officers are unidentified and have rounded up protesters illegally without identifying themselves.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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