Quantcast

DHS Sec. Visits Portland, Shames Local Leaders for Letting Anarchists Reign

(Headline USA) The head of the Department of Homeland Security visited Portland, Oregon, on Thursday, just hours after issuing a scathing statement that called the protesters who have taken to the streets every night for nearly two months “violent anarchists” and a “violent mob” that have kept the liberal Northwest city under siege.

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, whose visit was met with anger from local officials, said state and city authorities are to blame for not putting an end to 47 days of protests in Portland that have increasingly targeted the federal courthouse.

The lawless riots in Oregon’s largest city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have often turned into violent clashes with the police. The unrest has caused deep divisions in a city that prides itself on its activism and progressive reputation.

“Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it,” Wolf wrote.

“Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day,” his statement said.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and other local officials have said they didn’t ask for help from federal law enforcement and have asked them to leave.

“A number of people have asked if I know DHS leadership is in town, and if I’m going to meet with them. We’re aware that they’re here. We wish they weren’t. We haven’t been invited to meet with them, and if we were, we would decline,” Wheeler tweeted Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown called Wolf’s visit “political theater from President Trump” and said he “is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa.”

The state’s four Democratic federal lawmakers also sent a letter this week to Wolf and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to oppose the federal deployment in Portland.

Demonstrators have set fires, launched fireworks and sprayed graffiti on public buildings, including police precincts and the U.S. courthouse. Federal and local authorities have responded with tear gas and dozens of arrests.

A temporary federal court order banned Portland police from using tear gas unless a riot was declared after officers fired it multiple times to dispel crowds. Federal agents have used tear gas at least twice since their arrival over the Fourth of July weekend, prompting concerns that they are being used to circumvent the court order.

Before Wolf arrived, Portland police arrested nine people early Thursday as they cleared protesters from two parks near the courthouse. It wasn’t immediately clear if the parks were cleared because of the visit.


Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

TRENDING NOW

Trump to Senate: Vote ‘Without Delay’ on His High Court Pick

(Associated Press) President Donald Trump on Saturday urged the Republican-run Senate to consider "without delay" his upcoming nomination to fill the Supreme...

WeChat, TikTok to Be BANNED from App Stores on Sunday

(Associated Press) The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and...

Stock Market Declines for Third Straight Week

Wall Street capped another turbulent week of trading Friday with a broad slide in stocks that left the S&P 500 with its...

Rock Legend to Release Three Anti-COVID-Lockdown Songs

(Headline USA) As part of the 1960s counterculture, Northern Irish rock legend Van Morrison was revered for helping the hippie generation fight...

UN Food Chief Urges Rich to Help Keep Millions from Starving

(Associated Press) The World Food Program chief warned Thursday that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination...