Oregon will sue federal agencies over use of force against protesters

Oregon officials plan to sue several federal agencies they say are sending masked, camouflaged agents to detain and seize protesters without probable cause, according to a report.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said her office will also begin a criminal investigation into an incident of force by federal officers, the Oregonian reported.

“The federal administration has chosen Portland to use their scare tactics to stop our residents from protesting police brutality and from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement,” Rosenblum said. “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening. If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”

Oregon’s lawsuit in federal court will name the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, US Marshals Service, US Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Protection Service as defendants, officials said.

Portland protesters have been demonstrating against racial inequality and police brutality for the last 50 nights.

Oregon’s governor, Portland’s mayor and a US senator all decried the arrests, calling them authoritarian.

“Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters,” tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon.

Merkley also tweeted a video of two men in masks and wearing camouflage with generic “police” patches arresting someone in a black outfit with a mask, putting them in an unmarked van and driving away.

Rosenblum also said state and local officials will criminally investigate the shooting by federal officers of Donavan La Bella in the face with a less-lethal munition Saturday, critically injuring him. La Bella’s hands were above his head when he was shot.


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