Federal Officers Headed to New Cities as DHS Sec. Sets the Record Straight on Portland


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.”

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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.

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A statement Wednesday from the Office of Homeland Security did not make it seem as if federal officers would be leaving as quickly as Brown said.

“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.”

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The deployment of federal officers to Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee was part of the Department of Justice’s announcement Wednesday of the expansion of Operation Legend.

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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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith