Department of Homeland Security Releases ‘MYTHS VS. FACTS’ Sheet on Situation in Portland
A Department of Homeland Security “Myths vs. Facts” sheet released today details what the Department refers to as “50+ Nights of Violence, Chaos, and Anarchy in Portland, OREGON”.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), personnel have been sent to Portland because of “anarchist targeting city and federal properties and those that inhabit them”. “Federal law”, DHS’s fact sheets goes on, “clearly states that DHS has the authority to protect federal property and arrest criminals who damage federal property or attack federal officers”.
Federal law outlining the Department of Homeland Security’s law enforcement authority does state that DHS “shall protect the buildings, grounds, and property that are owned, occupied, or secured by the Federal Government… and the persons on the property”. Additionally, the law authorizes those DHS personnel to “carry firearms” and “make arrests without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer or agent or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States”.
However, it is also the legal mission of the Department to “ensure that the civil rights and civil liberties of persons are not diminished by efforts, activities, and programs aimed at securing the homeland”. A federal court recently issued a restraining order against DHS officers in Portland to prevent them from the arresting and taking away of video recording equipment of journalists in the area.
Mayor Wheeler of Portland has been calling for “immediate removal of the President’s “Rapid Deployment Unit” squads and for congressional investigation of their unconstitutional terror tactics”. Mayor Wheeler also expressed his belief that the ongoing situation is a “peaceful protest”.
Charles Lovell, Portland’s Chief of Police, says that while “there may be peaceful protestors at these events, there are groups of people who participate in vandalism, arson, burglaries to businesses, thefts, assaults and other criminal activity”.
President Trump recently announced his decision to send federal law enforcement to other cities including Chicago and Albuquerque.