Federal officers are headed to three new cities — Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee — as acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf assured Portland, Oregon, that the officers are not leaving until federal properties no longer are under attack.
“As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends,” Wolf tweeted Wednesday.
“We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack.”
As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack.
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) July 29, 2020
Wolf’s tweets came after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the federal government had agreed to a “phased withdrawal of federal officers” from Portland.
“After discussions with the Vice President and administration officials this week, the federal government has agreed to my demand and will withdraw these officers from Portland,” Brown said Wednesday in a news release.
“These federal officers have acted as an occupying force, refused accountability, and brought violence and strife to our community.”
The Democratic governor added that starting Thursday, all Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will leave downtown Portland.
“The Department will continue to maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure,” Wolf wrote.
“This has been our mission and objective since the violent, criminal activity began.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted Wednesday that the federal presence in Portland has brought “a new kind of fear to our streets.”
The federal occupation of our community has brought a new kind of fear to our streets. Federal agents nearly killed a demonstrator, and their presence has led to increased violence and vandalism in our downtown core. https://t.co/dImlr5o6jw
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 29, 2020
The operation was launched July 8 as a “sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative” for federal law enforcement to work with state and local law enforcement officials “to fight violent crime.”
“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
“The Department of Justice’s assets will supplement local law enforcement efforts, as we work together to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off of our streets,” he said.
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