Democratic mayors in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, Mo. and Washington, D.C., condemned federal agents dispersing protesters in their cities, in letters to congressional leadership and the Trump administration on Monday.
What they’re saying: ” Implementation of federal forces in the streets of our neighborhoods has not been requested nor is it appropriate,” the mayors write to Chief law officer Bill Barr and Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary.
- ” In Portland, their actions have intensified events and increased the danger of violence against both civilians and local police officers,” they compose.
- ” None of these representatives are trained in modern metropolitan community policing, such as de-escalation. They are operating without coordination with regional law enforcement,” the mayors say, prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading congressional leaders to investigate what they refer to as the administration’s “abuse of power.”
The opposite: ” DHS is not gon na pull back from our obligations. We are not intensifying, we are safeguarding, once again, federal centers. It’s our job, it’s what Congress has told us to do, time and time once again,” Wolf informed Fox News on Monday.
- ” The regional leaders there in Portland have fostered this environment that permits these people to, once again, attack the court house and do these very violent acts, harmful acts … we’re gon na investigate, and we’re gon na jail them, and we have the authority to do that,” Wolf said, when a Fox anchor raised a report from Oregon Public Broadcasting that DHS officers were taking protesters into unmarked vehicles without description.
- The DHS and DOJ did not immediately react to requests for comment.
In between the lines: Cities throughout the U.S. last month started to bend to press from Black Lives Matter demonstrators and downsized the force that officers can utilize on civilians.
- That brand-new rise of cops reform efforts, including restrictions on tear gas and guidelines on body cameras, has no affect on federal forces– and are rendered moot for protests supervised by federal representatives.
- ” In many of our cities, our communities have expectations for law enforcement, including recognition of officers, training, and recorded body video camera video footage, amongst many other expectations and policies,” the mayors compose.
The bottom line: The president has the authority to activate federal soldiers as domestic police under the Insurrection Act when those forces are utilized to protect federal residential or commercial property, enforce federal law, or put down insurrections that threaten federal laws or rights, “whether or not a state has requested the help,” per the Washington Post.
Go much deeper: Rand Paul knocks use of federal force in Portland