Oregon Governor says federal agents to withdraw from Portland

Federal agents deployed in Portland to protect federal court buildings from violent protests will begin a gradual withdrawal from the city on Thursday, authorities announced, but President Trump warned that the government will back down if local law enforcement is unable to stop. to “anarchists and agitators”. . “

“After my conversations with Vice President Pence and others, the federal government agreed to withdraw federal officials from Portland,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a tweet.

“They acted as an occupying force and brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection officers and ICE will leave downtown Portland. “

In a full statement, Brown added that a limited number of federal officers, who serve as security in federal buildings throughout the year, will remain in the city to protect the buildings alongside the state police.

Even with the officers’ withdrawal, Brown said the nightly protests around the buildings are likely to continue, but called his departure “as difficult as it is behind schedule.”

Meanwhile, Trump threatened a pair of tweets to send to federal authorities if the local government couldn’t stop “crime and violence” from erupting in the city.

“If the Federal Government and its brilliant law enforcement (Homeland) did not enter Portland a week ago, there would be no Portland, it would be burned and beaten to the ground,” Trump wrote.

“If the Mayor and Governor do not stop the Crime and Violence of Anarchists and Agitators immediately, the Federal Government will come in and do the job that the local police were supposed to do!” added.

Acting Department of Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf also said he anticipates the agency “will change our posture of strength” if circumstances on the ground in the city change.

Wolf said he and Brown had agreed on a joint plan to end “violent activity” in the city targeting federal buildings.

“State and local law enforcement will begin to protect properties and streets, especially those surrounding federal properties, which have been under night attack for the past two months,” Wolf said in the statement.

“The Oregon State Police will coordinate with Federal Protective Service (FPS) officers to ensure that all federal facilities remain protected and safe,” he added.

Federal officials and protesters have clashed every night since their deployment in early July amid growing demands for withdrawal of Oregon officials.

The city has suffered two months of protests and riots since George Floyd’s police death.