WASHINGTON Portland police on Thursday cleared a downtown park, making at least one arrest, as part of a plan for federal tactical police to leave the city following weeks of clashes with protesters.
A day after Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, and U.S. officials announced a phased withdrawal deal, Oregon State Police requested the park be closed before their planned takeover of security at a nearby federal courthouse, Portland police tweeted.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said Brown was still not doing enough to rein in “Anarchists & Agitators” who have clashed with federal tactical police guarding the Portland courthouse on an almost nightly basis.
“If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!” Trump tweeted.
Brown responded that Trump’s plan to “dominate” the streets of American cities, announced in a June 1 speech as police used gas and batons to clear Washington protesters, had failed.
“Today, federal troops are preparing to leave downtown Portland,” she tweeted on Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security deployed tactical agents to protect the courthouse in early July after protesters set fires inside the structure, broke windows and graffitied its walls.
Their presence drew national attention after camouflage-clad agents were videoed snatching a protester off the street and whisking him away in an unmarked minivan. Democrats and civil rights groups said agents were acting as an unconstitutional, occupying force and committing civil rights violations.
Trump, seeking re-election in November, has sought to crack down on protests to highlight his focus on law and order amid demonstrations and unrest after the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
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The Portland clashes sparked a standoff between Trump and Democratic mayors who said his deployment of federal police to their cities was a political stunt dangerously escalating tensions among racial justice and police violence protesters.
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