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DHS scrambling to train federal officers to comply with the First Amendment while engaging with protesters: report

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Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf (DHS photo via Twitter)

On Tuesday, Politico reported that the Trump administration is planning to deploy a new surge of officers with the Federal Protective Service and other components of the Department of Homeland Security to guard federal buildings during protests — likely at least through the November elections.

One of the things the department is rushing to do, according to Betsy Woodruff Swan, Natasha Bertrand, and Daniel Lippman, is train the officers on how to avoid violating the First Amendment when they engage with protesters.

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“One lawyer doing the training told listeners that FPS was ‘trying to stay away from citations that relate to First Amendment protected activity,'” said the report. “The lawyers also cautioned trainees that they couldn’t arrest protesters just for making video recordings of them on their cell phones, even if those recordings made them ‘uncomfortable’ — and that they couldn’t retaliate against those protesters by recording them with their own phones.”

“They also discussed a federal regulation that lets FPS officers arrest people for taking photos or videos of federal facilities under certain circumstances — cautioning that while the regulation exists, officers should be cautious about using it because of the First Amendment,” continued the report. “And they discussed a tactic called ‘cite and release’ to quickly remove people from protests without going so far as making a custodial arrest. One lawyer called it an ‘invaluable tool’ to de-escalate protests.”

The deployment of federal officers has come under elevated scrutiny following clashes in Portland, Oregon, where some protesters have been taken away in unmarked vehicles.


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Armed ‘sovereign citizen extremist’ arrested at Boston train station: report

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Authorities in Boston arrested an armed extremist at a train station on Thanksgiving.

"A Boston man was arrested last night and charged with illegally carrying a loaded pistol. The defendant, who allegedly purchased a firearm and body armor, and material that could be used to assemble explosives, adheres to the anti-government/anti-authority sovereign citizen extremist ideology," the Department of Justice announced Friday. "Pepo Herd El a/k/a Pepo Wamchawi Herd (El), 47, of Dorchester, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition."

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Texas Republican hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already a GOP congressman is publicly dunking on him

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There was some drama on Twitter on Friday when a four-term Republican congressman dunked on a Texas Republican who won a seat in Congress but has yet to be sworn in.

It started when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) urged President Donald Trump to pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

Rep.-elect Tony Gonzales (R-TX) called out Gabbard for being "full of more than just turkey."

Snowden and Assange are Russian agents who pose a direct threat to US National interests. Clearly @TulsiGabbard is full of more than just turkey. https://t.co/RI4XgdZRUy

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2020 Election

Biden’s lead in Milwaukee increases after Trump blew millions on Wisconsin recount: report

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President-elect Joe Biden's lead over Donald Trump in Wisconsin extended on Friday as Milwaukee finished their recount.

The Trump campaign had to pay $3 million for the recount in Wisconsin.

"Milwaukee County concludes its recount of the presidential election -- one of two counties where Trump sought a recount in Wisconsin. The results: Biden's lead, currently at about 20,000 statewide, grew by 132 votes," Rosalind Helderman of The Washington Post reported Friday.

Edward-Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic did a quick, back-of-the-envelope economic analysis.

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