Authorities in Portland, Oregon have been decrying the use of federal law enforcement to round up protesters within the city for days now, as the situation has continued to escalate.
The complaint is that the officers, allegedly from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, have been detaining protesters while galavanting around Portland unidentified and using unmarked rental vehicles. Many have referred to them as “secret police” on account of their unwillingness to identify themselves, further escalating the rhetoric surrounding the deployment.
On Wednesday night, things in Portland took a turn toward the surreal.
Videos of the protests circulating online show the mayor’s encounter with federal officers came after he waded into crowds of protesters and was confronted by calls for his resignation and various law enforcement reforms.
Wheeler then apparently walked to the city’s federal courthouse, which has become a focal point of the protests, where he and others were targeted by the officers with volleys of tear gas.
The White House has stated that a similar group of LEO’s will be headed to Chicago in the coming days – an announcement that drew the ire of Windy City Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
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