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US Homeland Security confirms three units sent paramilitary officers to Portland

By Reuters | July 22nd 2020 at 08:42:11 GMT +0300

Federal law enforcement officers, deployed under the Trump administration's new executive order to protect federal monuments and buildings, face off with protesters against racial inequality in Portland, Oregon, U.S. July 17, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection arm confirmed on Tuesday it has deployed officers from three paramilitary-style units to join a federal crackdown on protests against police violence in Portland, Oregon.

“We have agents and officers from our special operations groups deployed,” a CBP official said in an email. The official did not respond to questions about the number of officers deployed.

Multiple videos posted online showed camouflage-clad officers without clear identification badges using force and unmarked vehicles to transport arrested protesters, tactics that civil-rights advocates said could violate protesters’ right to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

President Donald Trump, who has been sliding in opinion polls as he seeks re-election, has vowed to also send federal agents to cities including New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, which critics said would amount to a use of federal power for political ends.

CBP, which patrols land borders and operates checkpoints for people arriving at U.S. airports and other transportation hubs, has three specially trained units that have deployed officers to Portland, the official told Reuters.

According to the CBP’s website, one of these units, the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, “provides an immediate response capability to emergent and high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics.”

CBP said it also sent agents from its Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue and Special Response teams to Portland.


Portland Homeland Security Protests President Donald Trump
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