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Mayors contact Congress to investigate use of federal officers in Portland

A group of big-city mayors on Tuesday formally asked “the big four” congressional leaders to investigate the Trump administration’s deployment of federal law enforcement to quell protests in Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere.”These forces are conducting crowd control on city streets and detaining individuals,” they say in a letter. “Their threats and actions have escalated events,…

A group of big-city mayors on Tuesday officially asked “the huge 4” congressional leaders to investigate the Trump administration’s deployment of federal law enforcement to quell demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere.

” These forces are performing crowd control on city streets and apprehending people,” they say in a letter. “Their dangers and actions have actually escalated events, and increased the threat of violence versus both civilians and regional police officers.”

The letter from 15 mayors, including Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, and Ted Wheeler of Portland, was dealt with to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

The document sketches a pattern of release of federal agents and hazards of further attacks in reaction to a wave of public dissent that started with the in-custody of death of George Floyd in Minneapolis May 25.

Mayor Costs de Blasio of New york city City spoke in assistance of the letter on “Morning Joe” on Wednesday and warned against the Trump administration’s sending any federal troops to his city.

” I believe what the president is doing is unconstitutional” in trying to suppress protests in Portland, de Blasio said.

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” If one of these federal officers actions foot in New york city City with the intent of denying the First Modification rights of New Yorkers, we will be in court immediately, and we will win,” the mayor said. “Whenever the Trump administration has attempted to bend the Constitution to their will they have actually lost in court.”

Federal forces, including the National Guard and the U.S. Trick Service, were used to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. on June 1 just before President Donald Trump strolled through the park en route to a media event

It was among lots of demonstrations that swept the country following Floyd’s death. One of Trump’s responses to protests, consisting of some that changed into discontent, was to threaten to use the military to calm them

” I am setting in motion all offered federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and robbery, to end the destruction and arson and to secure the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your 2nd Amendment rights,” Trump said on June 1.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf stated during a press conference that implementation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and other federal forces in Portland was not a Trump executive order but simply routine.

He stated the forces were policing protests as part of their duties to secure federal residential or commercial property. Recent presentations in Portland have actually targeted the area of a federal court house.

The very same day, the president stated more cities, including New york city, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland, might see similar enforcement

” We’re not going to let this occur in our country,” Trump stated.

The president in mid-June also threatened to use the military to break up protesters’ profession of a location of Seattle called the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone.

Leaders in Portland and throughout Oregon have argued the protests were waning until current days when the existence of federal forces incited wider demonstrations over the weekend.

The letter’s signatories argued that the implementation has actually violated “basic constitutional protections and tenets of federalism” and called it an “abuse of power.”

It asks congressional leaders to help the general public understand what scenarios would justify using federal firepower versus Americans.

Image: Dennis Romero Dennis Romero

Dennis Romero composes for NBC News and is based in Los Angeles.

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