President Donald Trump deploying an elite force of federal agents to handle ongoing riots in Portland, Oregon, Sunday, noting on Twitter that the purpose of deploying the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, was to assist Portland law enforcement, not harm protesters.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!” Trump tweeted.
Police in Portland have, several times, labeled the ongoing unrest a “riot,” despite efforts by the city’s mayor to recast the nightly eruptions as simple demonstrations.
On Sunday, the ongoing unrest entered its 52nd day, with protesters setting at least two fires, including one in the police union’s headquarters, per Oregon Live.
“In North Portland, the PNW Youth Liberation Front, an organized group that has been leading demonstrations over the course of the past two months, hosted a protest to demand the abolition of the Portland Police Bureau and decry violence against people of color. After an evening gathering at Peninsula Park, marchers headed south on Interstate Avenue, stretching out for about five blocks,” the outlet reported early Sunday morning.
“They stopped outside the bureau’s North Precinct, chanting, “Quit your job.” The majority of the crowd dispersed from the precinct around 9:30 p.m. after officers announced demonstrators would be subject to arrest,” Oregon Live continued. “Demonstrators traveled to the Portland Police Association, the Portland Police Bureau’s union. They then began flipping dumpsters around the building to form a barricade.”
Around 10:25 pm Saturday night, Portland police declared the incident a “riot” and moved to clear the area.
Friday night, protesters told friendly media sources that they faced off against masked federal officers outside Portland’s federal courthouse — a building that has been under siege in the nightly unrest for most of the last two months. Protesters claimed that the agents, who they said were not wearing badges, “disappeared” at least one demonstrator, taking him away in an unmarked vehicle.
As the Daily Wire reported Saturday, CPB acknowledged deploying the elite border patrol unit in Portland to protect federal property.
“A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokeswoman said on Friday agents had been deployed to Portland to support a newly launched U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit, tasked with enforcing last month’s executive order from Republican President Donald Trump to protect federal monuments and buildings,” Reuters reported Saturday.
CBP also acknowledged moving at least one suspect for questioning, telling media that the suspect, who was accused of damaging federal property and attacking federal officers, was briefly moved from the scene while being interrogated because federal agents feared being attacked by what they referred to as “a large and violent mob” advancing on the scene.
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