Mississippi Congressman issues statement regarding unrest in Portland

As the unrest in Portland, Oregon grows, officials are calling on the Trump Administration to remove federal agents from the city.

Earlier today, President Trump spoke from the Oval Office and said, “These are not protestors.  People say protestors; these are anarchists.  These are people that hate our country and we are not going to let it go forward.”

Mississippi Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have issued the following statement:

Our nation is at a crossroads, and as Americans across the country exercise their First Amendment rights, the Trump Administration has repeatedly deployed federal law enforcement officials to try to silence them. Americans are watching the latest deeply disturbing use of federal law enforcement in Portland, Oregon.

We find it particularly troubling that in Portland, many of these federal officers have apparently been patrolling the streets in unmarked vehicles and arresting protestors off the street – in some cases without probable cause and without reading their Miranda rights – all while donning what appears to be military uniforms.

These alarming actions beg a number of serious questions. Was it the intent of the Trump Administration to make it seem as though the U.S. military is being deployed to control a U.S. city? Are they completely ignorant about the optics of the situation?

We’ve been down this road before. The Trump Administration continues to weaponize federal law enforcement for its own agenda. Like we saw in Lafayette Park, rather than supporting and protecting the American people, we are witnessing the oppression of peaceful protestors by our own government.

Not only do their action undermine civil rights and sow fear and discord across the country, but in this case, they sully the reputation of members of our Armed Forces who were not involved.

This is simply unacceptable, and it must stop. We need answers and accountability for the actions by federal law enforcement in Portland, and we need to continue to find ways to rein in the Trump Administration’s growing militarization and misuse of federal law enforcement against the American people.”

Speaking to “Fox and Friends”, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said, “We’ve had over 50 nights of violent activity targeting federal facilities and federal law enforcement officers, and it needs to stop. DHS is not going to back down from our responsibilities.  We are not escalating, we are protecting.”