Tags: George Floyd Protests | Trump Administration | wolf | portland | riots

DHS' Wolf: Portland's Leaders Need to End Violence, Ask Feds for Help

chad wolf speaks at press conference
Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, speaks during a press conference relating hurricane season updates at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center on June 8, 2020 in Miami, Florida. ( Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 30 August 2020 10:52 AM

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday said sending federal law enforcement to Portland, Ore, to bring three months of unrest to an end is “on the table.”

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Wolf decried the refusal of local officials to ask for federal assistance.

“All options continue to be on the table… with concern to Portland,” he said.

“They continue to refuse any kind of federal assistance to bring that violent activity that’s been going on for 90 days to a close… We need to bring back some normality back to Portland. If the state and local officials won’t do it, they need to ask for federal assistance from the government.”

A man wearing a hat with the logo of a right-wing group was shot and killed in Portland Saturday night after hundreds of pro-Trump supporters clashed with those protesting the shootings of Black men and women by police.

Last week, a white 17-year-old who’d attended a Trump rally earlier in the year and posted on social media in support of police was accused of shooting three people, two fatally, during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Demonstrations have spread across the U.S. following the killing in May of George Floyd by Minnesota police, and protest has grown with other incidents, including the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. While most protests have been peaceful, tensions have grown with damaged buildings and physical altercations.

In an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Wolf charged that local officials have failed to protect their community.

“They foster an environment of this lawlessness and chaos,” he said of local officials there. “We've been asking the governor and others to send in the National Guard to address the violence so that you don't have dueling demonstrations… this violence that occurs night after night after night on the streets of Portland.

“We need them to do their job. We need them to step up and if they can't or they don't have the ability or the resources, ask the federal government. We'll provide those resources, as we've done in Wisconsin and in others,” he added.

According to Wolf, there have been 90 arrests, and 74 different criminal citations that the FBI is pursuing against individuals.

“We need Portland to step up, bring this violence to a close, and I think you'll see a lot of this go away,” he said.

“I’m asking Portland officials, so that's the mayor, that's the governor and that's local law enforcement to do their job to address any violent activity that is occurring in their streets,” he added. “As soon as they do that- again, we'll see that, as we've seen in Wisconsin and other places, we'll see the violence go down to almost zero.”

Democrats have accused Trump of fomenting violence as part of his re-election campaign call for law and order.

“We are not safe in Donald Trump’s America,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who ran for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said on ABC’s “This Week,” citing recent increases in hate crimes.

Wolf, acting DHS director since November, has come under fire for his department’s use of what protesters have described as excessively violent force to quell demonstrations.

Trump announced Aug. 25 that he would formally nominate Wolf after the Government Accountability Office released a report saying that Wolf was ineligible to serve in his roles in an acting capacity.

Wolf was named in a lawsuit against Trump by a group of Black Lives Matters protesters from Portland who said federal law enforcement officers used indiscriminate violence against them while they were participating in a lawful demonstration.

The protesters said they were shot in the head and body with impact munitions and pepper balls, sprayed in the face with pepper spray, and shoved to the ground and beaten with batons.

Wolf has also been criticized for his appearance at last week’s Republican National Convention, where he performed a naturalization ceremony that also featured Trump. Democrats called it an “an unprecedented politicization of the naturalization ceremony.”

Material from Bloomberg news service was used in this story.

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Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday said sending federal law enforcement Portland, Ore, to bring three months of unrest to an end is "on the table."...
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2020-52-30
Sunday, 30 August 2020 10:52 AM
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