Federal officers Trump sent to Portland teargassed protesters despite being told to leave by the mayor and the governor

A still from the local TV station KOIN News showing the federal officers. KOIN News/Twitter
  • Federal officers used tear gas and riot-control munitions on protesters in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday, two local news outlets reported.
  • Protests there have continued for almost two months since the death of George Floyd, The Oregonian reported.
  • President Donald Trump recently ordered federal officers to intervene – against the wishes of Oregon’s governor and Portland’s mayor.
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Federal officers clashed with protesters in the streets of Portland, Oregon, on Thursday evening, despite strong criticism of their presence from the state’s governor and the city’s mayor.

Protests in response to George Floyd’s death on May 25 have continued for 50 days in Portland, The Oregonian reported.

The newspaper described a group of about 300 protesters outside two separate federal buildings on Thursday night as “boisterous but nonviolent.”

Jennifer Dowling, a reporter with KOIN News, said in a video report that federal officers used tear gas and riot-control munitions against the protesters.

Portland authorities had earlier told protesters to leave, saying they had heard protesters chant about burning down one of the federal buildings, KOIN News reported.

President Donald Trump recently ordered federal officers to intervene in the protests in Portland.

Gov. Kate Brown and Mayor Ted Wheeler, both Democrats, are among the elected officials who have called on the federal officers to leave the city.

Hours before the clashes, Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, visited the city and harshly criticised local officials and law enforcement, The Associated Press reported.

In a long statement, Wolf called the protesters “violent anarchists,” accusing them of destroying property, causing violence, and spraying graffiti, as an apparent justification for the federal officers’ tactics.

Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary. Cedar Attanasio/AP

He said local and state leaders demonstrated a “failed response.”

“Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it,” the statement said.

Wolf did not seek to meet with either Brown or Wheeler, The Oregonian reported. Wheeler told the paper he would not have accepted anyway.

Earlier Thursday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, citing anecdotal accounts and social-media posts, that federal officers in unmarked vehicles had been seizing protesters since at least Tuesday.