Amid Trump’s growing threat to send unmarked federal forces to more cities, thousands of constitutional scientists and mayors have expressed concern.
US President Donald Trump welcomed the measures that federal officials had taken against thousands of protesters in Oregon’s largest city. However, it was without local approval and caused an increasing prospect of a constitutional crisis.
Thousands of demonstrators crowded into the United States Federal Courthouse and city justice center late Monday evening.
Noises and light from flash grenades filled the air as the authorities dealt with the demonstrators.
Although the state and local authorities have not asked for federal help, they are waiting for a decision in a lawsuit filed late last week.
Ellen Rosenblum, the attorney general, said in court records that masked federal officials arrested many people on the street, far from the court, for no apparent reason, and took them away in unmarked cars.
There were many rallies that struck Portland for 52 nights and that attracted thousands. Although some started peacefully, some turned into violence.
Current anger over federal officials began on July 11 when the US Marshal officer slapped a demonstrator with a less fatal round who suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized.
In recorded videos, it shows a man who has been identified as Donavan LaBella and is facing officials who hold a loudspeaker over his head when he was hit.
Since then, a group of demonstrators have targeted federal properties and local law enforcement buildings, set fire to police stations, broken windows, and violently clashed with local police.
The Portland police have used tear gas on protesters on several occasions until the federal court instructs officials not to.
On Monday, the US president said there will be more law enforcement agencies than he can say they did a fantastic job in Portland.
Constitutional law experts are not on the same page and have said that the federal official is a red flag in the progressive city and can become a test case for the rights of states if the Trump administration expands the federal police.
Michael Dorf, a professor of constitutional law at Cornel University, said that the idea that there is a threat to a federal court and the federal authorities will step in without cooperation and coordination and do whatever they want with state and local authorities out of context of a civil war extraordinary.
He added that it is a standard step for authoritarians to use the pretext of suppressing violence to enforce violence, triggering a violent response and then bootstrapping the initial use of violence.
The Department of Homeland Security tweeted that federal agents had been barricaded before the U.S. court in Portland and pointed lasers on their eyes to blind them.
Trump, who named the protester’s anarchists and agitators, said DHS and Department of Justice agents were on site to restore order in the courthouse and help Portland.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, who came under fire because of his treatment of the protests, said on national TV talk shows on Sunday that the demonstrations had declined before federal officials became engaged.
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