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Tag: protests

Demonstrators Attacked ICE Building in Oregon, Leading to Arrests

ICE building damaged in Portland, Or. Twitter/@LauraJedeed

By Steve Neavling

At least eight people have been charged in demonstrations that left an ICE building vandalized in Portland, police said. 

Shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, police said a group of roughly 150 people converged on the ICE building on the 4300 block of S. Macadam, tagging it with graffiti that included messages such as “Reunite families now” and “Kill cops!!!”

Some demonstrators were wearing gas masks and helmets and carrying batons, fireworks, shields, umbrellas, rocks and pepper ball guns, police said

Federal officers converged on the building at about 9:45 and pushed protesters back. In the meantime, Portland made arrests. 

Earlier in the day, protesters also attacked the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters, smashing windows and spraying graffiti. 

FBI Warns of Armed Protests Planned at All 50 State Capitols Ahead of Inauguration

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI bulletin warns that armed protesters are planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol in the run-up to Inauguration Day.

The bureau also is aware of a group urging protesters to storm local, state and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings if President Trump is ousted from officer before President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. 

“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin, obtained by ABC News, states. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”

Local police agencies have been advised to boost security at state capitols following the siege at the U.S. Capitol. 

Democrats are calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment. In the U.S. House, Democrats are pledging to impeach Trump if he’s not removed by his Cabinet. 

In the meantime, the FBI is investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and has received about 45,000 digital media tips. 

The storming of the Capitol led to the deaths of at least five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. 

Watch 13-Minute Axios Interview Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s interview with Axios.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf discussed Portland protests, systemic racism, domestic terrorism and other issues in this 13-minute interview with Axios.

Wolf pushed back against “this idea that we have systemic racism.”

“That means that we have designed a system that every law enforcement officer that goes through a law enforcement academy, a training facility, is somehow installed with racist views,” Wolf says.

He adds, “Again, I’m not saying that there’s not racist tendencies in some law enforcement officers. I think I wanna be clear about that. But again, what people mean by systemic racism is that we have designed an institution, a law enforcement institution, to be racist from the get-go. And I just — I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t believe in that.”

Other members of Trump’s administration who have denied systemic racism are White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and Attorney General Bill Barr.

The Government Accountability Office said last week that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions. The Trump administration rejected the findings, saying the were “erroneous.”

Watch the full interview here:

House Committee Launches Investigation into Homeland Security’s Actions in Portland

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee is investigating Homeland Security’s involvement in protests in Portland and other cities.

The investigation, launched Monday, also will review the dissemination of intelligence reporters on journalists and protesters.

“Let me be clear: the reporting regarding the monitoring of peaceful protesters, creating and disseminating intelligence reports about journalists and protesters, and potential exploitation of electronic devices is deeply troubling, Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to top DHS officials.

“The revelations thus far require a full accounting, and, if substantiated, must never be allowed to occur again,” Schiff added. “The Committee is therefore initiating, pursuant to its unique oversight and legislative authority, an investigation of I&A’s activities in Portland and in support of the Department’s response to protests nationwide.”

Homeland Security has drawn intense criticism for clashing with protesters and compiling intelligence reports on journalists covering protests in Portland.

The panel is calling at least nine DHS officials to testify in August.

Schiff ended his letter, saying the committee will consider “all options necessary to obtain compliance—including compulsory process.”

On Monday, Janet Napolitano, the former head of Homeland Security, criticized the department’s role in policing protests in Oregon, calling it “an abuse of authority” in a Washington Post op-ed.

Napolitano: DHS Must Return to Its Mission of Protecting Americans, Not Attacking Them

Janet Napolitano, former head of Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano, the former head of Homeland Security, criticized the department’s role in policing protests in Oregon, calling it “an abuse of authority.”

“This is not why DHS was created, it is not what it is supposed to do, and I’m confident that most DHS officers who have been directed to run patrols against U.S. citizens are troubled by this operation,” Napolitano says in a Washington Post op-ed. “DHS has a broad and important public safety mission, but nowhere in its foundational documents, in law or in policy, is the department authorized to target the American people who have assembled to protest the actions of their government.”

Napolitano says the “egregious misuse” of DHS has prompted renewed calls to dismantle the department, which she says would be a mistake because its task is “to protect our nation against any number of hazards and threats.”

“It defends against terrorism, cyberattacks, threats to U.S. borders, waterways, public infrastructure and aviation systems, and helps the country prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters while providing support, capacity, capability and intelligence to state and local officials,” Napolitano writes. “Since 9/11, zero planes have been weaponized as instruments of terrorism.”

DHS is now in the news “not because of the harm it is preventing but because of the harm it is doing,” citing border policies of placing “children in cages.”

Napolitano says DHS must return to its original mission.

“We were there solely for the purpose of protecting the American people. Not to attack them.”

Government Watchdogs Investigating Use of Force by Federal Officers in Portland, Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The inspectors general of the Justice Department and Homeland Security have launched investigations into how federal agents have used force and detained protesters during demonstrations in Portland and Washington D.C.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing the use of force by U.S. Marshals in Portland and the FBI, DEA and ATF in Washington D.C., The Washington Post reports.

Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari is investigating allegations that CBP agents “improperly detained and transported protesters” in Portland, where protesters and federal officers have clashed over the past week.

In a joint statement, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House said the investigations are “critically important” as the Trump administration plans to deploy federal agents to additional cities, including Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City.

“Many of these federal agents are dressed as soldiers, driving unmarked vehicles and refusing to identify themselves or their agencies,” they wrote. “Nearly everywhere they have deployed, their presence has increased tensions and caused more confrontation between demonstrators and police.”

On Thursday night, a federal judge in Oregon issued a temporary restraining order barring federal agents in Portland from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security’s first secretary, Republican Tom Ridge, criticized the use of federal officers in cities without the consent of state and local officials.

“It would be a cold day in hell before I would consent or agree to the unsolicited, uninvited intervention in any of my cities,” Ridge told KDKA . “I certainly don’t favor that kind of action, and certainly don’t think DHS was designed for that purpose to start with.”

CBP Sent 3 Paramilitary-Style Units to Crackdown on Protests in Portland

Border Patrol Tactic Unit via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection has sent three specially trained, paramilitary-style units to help crackdown on protests Portland, Reuters confirms.

“We have agents and officers from our special operations groups deployed,” a CBP official said in an email.

A lot of questions have been raised since videos began circulating on social media last week that showed camouflage-clad officers in tactical gear and no insignia clashing with protesters in Portland. State and local leaders have criticized the deployment, and civil-rights advocates argue the officers are violating protesters’ free speech rights.

One of the units identified by Reuters is the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which “provides an immediate response capability to emergent and high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics,” according to CBP’s website.

The other units are the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue and Special Response teams.

Democrats and some Republicans are questioning the wisdom of sending federal agents to quell protests in American cities.

“Donald Trump has no justification for deploying paramilitary troops to the streets of Portland or any other American city,” Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said. “These occupying forces are creating conflict, attacking peaceful protesters and making my hometown more dangerous. For Portland to find peace, Trump needs to pull unwanted federal agents out of our city immediately.”

Comey: Sending Uninvited Federal Officers to Cities Is ‘Dumb And Self-Defeating’

James Comey via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The presence of camouflage-clad federal officers in cities like Portland, against the wishes of local and state authorities, threatens to sever the longstanding relationships between federal law enforcement and communities.

So says former FBI Director James Comey in a column for The Washington Post.

“‘The FBI does nothing alone’ is how I often explained our dependence upon partnerships with local and state law enforcement,” Comey wrote. “The willingness of cities, counties and states to contribute their resources — most importantly, their people — to our task forces was at the heart of the FBI’s and DEA’s success. Town councils and mayors around the country supported those relationships because they trusted us.”

He added, “The costs to federal law enforcement will be enormous.”

President Trump has pledged to send federal law enforcement officers to cities where protests have broken out. In Portland, images of federal officers in full tactical gear clashing with protesters have enraged protesters and local and state officials, raising serious questions about Trump’s motives.

“So it’s dumb and self-defeating on many levels for the feds to engage the way they have in Portland,” Comey wrote. “No sensible law enforcement leader would approach it this way. Which begs a question: Is televised conflict the goal?”

Comey warned that the consequences could be long-lasting and devastating.

“The only thing damaged in the process will be the United States and the federal law enforcement agencies our country needs,” Comey wrote. “Yet again, the craving of our president for reelection seems to override everything.”