Federal agents deployed to Portland have been derided as “Secret Police” and “Storm Troopers” for snatching up protesters off the street, along with gassing firing at those petitioning their government to end unjust policing.
A new memo obtained by The New York Times reveals the deployments are expected in other U.S. cities — and that the agents involved are not trained for the task.
“The heavily armed federal agents facing a growing backlash for their militarized approach to weeks of unrest in Portland were not specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations, an internal Department of Homeland Security memo warned this week,” The Times reported Saturday.
“The message dated Thursday was prepared by the agency for Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, as he arrived in Portland to view the scene in person, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The New York Times. It listed federal buildings in the city and issues officers faced in protecting them,” the newspaper explained. “The memo, seemingly anticipating future encounters with protesters in other cities as the department follows President Trump’s guidance to crack down on unrest, warns: ‘Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.'”
The Department of Homeland Security has been highly criticized for the actions of the agents in Portland.
This protestor might replace @johncusack as the most iconic guy with boombox. Last night the Department of Homeland Security shot him in the head for daring to stand against fascism. #SayAnythingAndGetShot #PortlandProtests #DefundThePolice #FuckTrumphttps://t.co/Va7eXCb83l
— Brandon🌹 (@napmasters) July 13, 2020
Oregon protesters are getting detained by federal agents in unmarked vehicles: report https://t.co/AQDo5NwhUq
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) July 17, 2020
Call in the National Guard, arrest ‘em all and let the courts sort ‘em out. https://t.co/NKVtbb3VGV
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) July 18, 2020