ACLU Urges Court to Contempt Federal Agents in Portland

The Oregon Foundation for American Civil Liberties (ACLU) on Tuesday asked a federal court to hold federal agents in contempt of alleged attacks on journalists and legal observers at protests in Portland, Oregon.

the Oregon ACLU claims that several federal law enforcement officers violated the restraining order issued last week prohibit officers from threatening to arrest, arrest, disperse, or use force against journalists and legal observers present at demonstrations.

In a motion on Tuesday, the Oregon ACLU alleges that federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Marshals Service violated the restraining order “in a matter of hours” and “have continued to do so every night since then” .

The motion requests that the court order all officers who allegedly violated the restraining order to “identify themselves, present themselves, and be prohibited from participating in any armed operation within the Oregon District.”

The group is also calling for federal agent commanders, including the acting Secretary of Homeland Security. Chad WolfChad WolfWall of Moms, Black Lives Matter sues Trump Administrator over Portland response Federal agents use tear gas to clear Portland protesters, police say they find Molotov cocktails Protesters protest Portland tactics outside the home of the head of DHS PLUS and Acting Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli to “appear in court personally” to “show why they should not be penalized for contempt,” according to the statement.

“These violations are not involuntary,” says the motion. “They are intentional acts of a lawless president, who has sent his paramilitary forces to shoot down the streets of Portland, drown the city center in a haze of toxic chemical gases, and bite reelection bites, in obvious disregard for security. public, the rule of law and the most fundamental principles of our Constitution. “

The motion states that videos, photos and accounts show that federal authorities sprayed and fired projectiles at legal observers and the press “clearly marked.” The Oregon ACLU released statements from five journalists and legal observers detailing the alleged attacks by federal officials.

“As a result of federal agents’ defiance of the court order, the free press remains insecure as it attempts to document and observe the catastrophic violence that federal authorities are inflicting on Portland,” the motion says. “Federal agents and their commanders … are not above the law.”

The Oregon ACLU filed the lawsuit requesting the restraining order to arrest or attack journalists and legal observers, which was approved by US District Judge Michael Simon last week.

Protests have continued in Portland, calling for racial justice since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May. The protests have sometimes turned violent, prompting administration officials and President TrumpDonald John TrumpRead: Attorney General William Barr’s written testimony before the Barr House Judiciary Committee hoped to blame Democrats for efforts to ‘discredit him’ at the next hearing of 22 people facing federal charges in connection with the Portland protests. PLUS to condemn them.

The president ordered federal authorities to be deployed in the city to quell the ongoing protests earlier this month. Last week, he said he would send additional federal officials to “Democratic” cities, including Chicago and Albuquerque, to crack down on protests and violent crime.

The ACLU also filed a lawsuit challenging the police treatment of protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, on June 1, when they were forcibly removed prior to the city’s curfew. The group also filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of volunteer doctors who allege that local and federal police attacked them in the Portland protests.

The Hill has contacted DHS for comment. The U.S. Marshals Service declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.