In Portland, Oregon, police arrested nine people Thursday morning after declaring their protest encampment near a downtown federal courthouse an “illegal assembly.”
The crackdown came as acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf accused Portland officials of failing to restore order during seven weeks of protests that erupted after the killing of George Floyd. During a visit to Portland Thursday, Wolf blasted Black Lives Matter protesters as “lawless anarchists” and a “violent mob” that desecrated and destroyed federal property.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown clapped back on Twitter, writing, “This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”
Videos circulating on social media show heavily armed federal officers with no agency markings snatching people off Portland’s streets and forcing them into unmarked cars. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports one protester ran when he saw people wearing camouflage jump out of an unmarked vehicle, not knowing whether he was being arrested or kidnapped.