Report: Portland Protest Groups To Sue U.S. Government For Using Tear Gas, Paint, Rubber Bullets

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. agents that were used to restore order in Portland.

As the Associated Press reports, Governor Kate Brown announced on Tuesday that the agents—who were there at the direction of President Trump—have since cleared out from her city.

The legal motion alleges the elite federal force continued to attack “journalists and legal observers with riot-control munitions, despite a federal court ordering them to stop.”

“These violations are not inadvertent,” the motion says, via the Hill. “They are intentional acts by a lawless president, who has sent his paramilitary forces to shoot up the streets of Portland, choke downtown in a haze of toxic chemical fumes, and generate reelection soundbites—in blatant disdain of public safety, the rule of law, and the most fundamental principles of our Constitution.”

Ironically, it was the same courthouse that the Portland protesters sought to destroy and set ablaze—the U.S. District Court in Portland—that ruled federal agents could not target specific individuals in the riots.

“As a result of the federal agents’ defiance of the Court’s order, the free press remains unsafe while trying to document and observe the cataclysmic violence that federal authorities are inflicting on Portland,” the motion continued. “The federal agents—and their commanders … are not above the law.”

The Hill reports:

In a Tuesday motion, the ACLU of Oregon alleges the federal officers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Marshals Service violated the restraining order “within hours” and “have continued to do so every night since.”

The motion requests the court order all of the agents who allegedly violated the restraining order to “be identified, personally appear, and be prohibited from participating in any armed operations within the District of Oregon.”

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The group is also calling for federal agents’ commanders, including acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, to “personally appear before the court” to “show cause as to why they should not be sanctioned for contempt,” according to the release.

ACLU interim legal director Kelly Simon said these federal agents answer to the courts and have to follow its decisions.

“This administration claims to be defending the federal courthouse, but won’t obey the orders coming out of it. What purpose are these agents actually serving then?” she asked.


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