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Cuccinelli says DHS to change camouflage uniforms of federal agents used in Portland

Cuccinelli says DHS to change camouflage uniforms of federal agents used in Portland
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Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the remaining federal agents in Portland, Ore., would be transitioning away from the camouflage military-style uniforms they have been wearing.

Cuccinelli, the No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), testified in front of a Judiciary subcommittee along with several other officials and public figures at a hearing focused on the federal response to the Black Lives Matter protests that have dominated Portland's downtown area for the past couple months.

“To address concerns about military-like appearance of some of Customs [and] Border Protection’s (CBP) officers’ uniforms, which are the normal uniforms used by some CBP teams in the course of regular duty, we are moving rapidly to replace those uniforms for those personnel,” Cuccinelli wrote in prepared testimony.

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Federal officers have been in Portland since late June, deployed by acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA, accept new applicants Former cyber official condemns Trump attorney for threats against Krebs, details ouster MORE to protect the city's federal courthouse, which has sustained damage from the demonstrations.

While the agents were sent there to protect the courthouse, tensions between officers and protestors quickly reached a boiling point. For weeks, protesters and federal officers have clashed outside of the courthouse, with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. In return, protesters have set off fireworks and started fires near the building.

Last week, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signaled that some federal officers would withdraw from the city after she reached an agreement with the Trump administration. However, more than 100 DHS agents are expected to stay in the city as a “quick reaction force."