Federal agents facing the protesters in Portland will begin a gradual withdrawal from the city center starting Thursday, Oregon Democrat government Kate Brown said.
Interim Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said he and Brown had been in contact for the past 24 hours and reached a joint plan to end “violent activities in Portland directed at federal property and law enforcement officials.”
“This plan includes a strong Oregon State Police presence in downtown Portland,” Wolf said. “State and local law enforcement will begin to protect real estate and streets, especially surrounding federal property, which has been destroyed in the past two months. Oregon State Police will coordinate with Federal Security Service (FPS) officials to keep all federal facilities safe.
Firefighters, then tear gas: NIGHT 62 IN PORTLAND MORE TREATMENT; SHORT ADVERTISING MAKING FEDERAL OFFICIALS
The Portland Police Bureau was banned from cooperating with federal law enforcement officials last week under a new policy adopted unanimously by the city council, the Oregonian reported.
In a statement, Wolf said President Trump and his administration had consistently said that “violent criminal activity” directed at federal properties and law enforcement would not be tolerated and that “state and local leaders must move forward and control their communities. “
“The Department of Homeland Security will not relinquish our legal obligation to protect federal law enforcement officials and property in the face of such criminal behavior,”; he continued.
“President Trump has also made it clear that this administration is ready and willing to work with state and local law enforcement to protect every American – and you see that commitment in Portland as part of that plan. “The department and this administration will also continue to fulfill their solemn obligation to uphold federal law throughout the country,” Wolf said.
But Brown accused federal officials of inciting violence and acted as an occupying force by announcing a joint plan to withdraw federal forces from Portland, having previously praised the Black Lives Matter movement.
“After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government agreed to resign federal officials from Portland. They acted as an occupying force and caused violence. Starting tomorrow, all customs and border guards and ICE officials will leave Portland city center, ”the governor said on Twitter.
“Our local Oregon State police officers will be going to downtown to protect Oregonians’ right to free speech and keep the peace. Let’s focus on the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands for racial justice and police accountability. It is time for bold action to reform police practice. “
The 62nd consecutive night of demonstrations following George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis continued in downtown Portland on Tuesday. Portland police officers clashed with demonstrators before federal agents arrived on July 4th. Over the weekend, Mark O. Hatfield guarded the U.S. Courthouse, Multnomah County Justice Center and other government buildings.
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Crowds — hundreds to thousands — tried almost every night to tear down a fence built to protect Mark O. Hatfield’s U.S. courthouse. They created fires and floated fireworks, Molotov cocktails, bricks, rocks and bottles. Officials reinforced the fence this week by building concrete highway barriers around it. Federal officials often react by firing tear gas, pepperballs, and percussion ammunition.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.