Oregon Governor announces withdrawal of federal police from Portland

Oregon Governor announces withdrawal of federal police from Portland

Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, has announced the withdrawal of federal police from Portland. 

The governor said on Wednesday July 29, 2020, that Vice President Mike Pence agreed to end the deployment that has sparked a standoff between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic mayors over the use of federal police in their cities.

"Under the plan, all Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers protecting a federal courthouse will start to leave downtown Portland on Thursday," Brown said in a statement.

The withdrawal would end a federal presence that saw a protester nearly killed by a rubber bullet and two officers likely blinded permanently by protesters using lasers.

“They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence,” Brown, a Democrat who has clashed with Trump, wrote on Twitter.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf, who oversees CBP and ICE, said state and local police would begin to secure Portland’s federal facilities.

On a call with reporters, Wolf declined to provide a timeline for federal officers to leave the city, saying they will remain “until we see that the plan is working.”

“We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack,” Wolf tweeted.

The Oregon plan dovetailed with the announcement of a deployment of federal agents to Cleveland, Milwaukee and Detroit, expanding a separate program aimed at curtailing a surge of violent crime in some cities. Some mayors said they were willing to accept the help, while others expressed worries over the Republican president’s potential political motives in an election year.

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 a Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police.