Portland: Any Police Officer Caught Aiding Federal Law Enforcement Will Be ‘Subject To Discipline’.
Earlier, federal agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear have taken to the streets of Portland, unleashing tear gas, bloodying protesters and pulling some people into unmarked vans in what Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon has called “a blatant abuse of power.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear-gassed by federal officers along with a large crowd of protesters late Wednesday night after he tried for hours to calm down angry activists demanding police reform from City Hall.
City Council of Portland passed new policies on Wednesday that will immediately ban all police bureau members from working with federal law enforcement and prevents them from intentionally arresting or using force on journalists and legal observers.
The ban on law enforcement cooperation comes from the city council’s belief that “current federal operations in Portland as an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by the federal government.” Commissioner Chloe Eudaly drafted the resolutions that both passed unanimously on Wednesday.
The resolution states that any member of the Portland Police Bureau who “provides, requests, or willingly receives operational support from militarized federal forces” will be subject to discipline. Any federal request for cooperation from the Portland Police Bureau must now be “reported immediately” to the entire city council by email.
The second resolution condemns and prevents police in Portland from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers unless they have reasonable suspicion the person has committed a crime. It follows a judge’s ruling last week that credentialed journalists and legal observers were exempt from arrest or threat by police in the city.
Under the new policy, any member of the Portland Police Bureau who intentionally targets a member of the press during demonstrations in violation of the July 16 court injunction will be subject to discipline. It will remain in place for as long as the judge’s order stays in effect.
“Targeting the press and legal observers is not compatible with American democracy,” the resolution stated. “Portland supports democracy and opposes authoritarianism.”
Reports about recent incidents involving federal law enforcement officers using unmarked cars to detain peaceful protesters gain steam nationwide.
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