Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT

The federal agents deployed to Portland, Ore., amid nationwide protests did not have riot and mass crowd control training, according to an internal memo that was circulated at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and obtained by The New York Times

The memo, compiled for acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Watch live: Acting DHS chief testifies on deployment of federal agents to protests The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal MORE was dated for Thursday just as Wolf traveled to Portland to view firsthand the situation between protesters and federal authorities. The memo reportedly listed federal buildings and the officers deployed to defend them. 

In addition, the memo suggested that should federal law enforcement be deployed to other U.S. cities that are experiencing unrest that, "if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.” 

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News of the memo comes as Tensions have escalated between law enforcement and demonstrators since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody in late May. The protests have dominated the Portland area for well over a month, and at times, have led to the damage of federal property.

These actions prompted Wolf to send federal officers to the Rose City to protect the buildings.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE in June signed an executive order for the federal government to protect federal monuments throughout the country, prompting the response in Oregon. 

Wolf in a statement Thursday described protesters as a "violent mob," though protests Thursday night were reported to be mainly peaceful. 

The presence of the federal officers has been met with significant pushback from Oregon lawmakers.

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"I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) tweeted Thursday. "His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way."

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) tweeted about the situation on Tuesday, saying that he informed Wolf that "we do not need or want" assistance from federal officers.

The news also comes as reports of unidentifiable, camouflaged federal officers picking up and detaining protesters in unmarked vans have drawn ire from the state’s congressional lawmakers. 

Oregon Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Merkley, Sanders introduce bill limiting corporate facial recognition MORE (D) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenElection security advocates see strong ally in Harris OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog report raises new questions for top Interior lawyer | Senate Democrats ask Trump to withdraw controversial public lands nominee | Border wall water use threatens endangered species, environmentalists say Watchdog report raises new questions for top Interior lawyer MORE (D) and Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerTrump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciPelosi, Blumenaur condemn 'egregious abuses of power' by Trump against Oregon protestors Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D) asked Friday for the events to be thoroughly reviewed by DHS.

“DHS and DOJ are engaged in acts that are horrific and outrageous in our constitutional democratic republic,” Merkley said.

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“First, they are deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for. Second, these agents are snatching people off the street with no underlying justification. Both of these acts are profound offenses against Americans," he said.

He added: “We demand not only that these acts end, but also that they remove their forces immediately from our state. Given the egregious nature of the violations against Oregonians, we are demanding full investigations by the Inspectors General of these departments.”

Updated 7:16 p.m.