Democrat lawmaker compares federal law enforcement activities in Portland to “brutal tactics” used in Venezuela

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Portland, OR – Violent protests have continued to rage daily in Portland since the death of George Floyd. 

But Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) believes the little dears committing acts of violence are “peaceful protestors” whose rights are being trampled by law enforcement using “brutal tactics” akin to what was done in Venezuela.

As of earlier this month, violent mobs have caused over $23 million in damages, while setting fires, looting businesses, and attacking federal property. 

‘Protestors’ have attacked law enforcement officers with fireworks, bricks, bottles, glass, and other weapons, causing injuries.

The violence and destruction have been so horrific that federal law enforcement agents were sent in to Portland to address the protests and destruction of federal property.

60 people have been arrested so far by federal officers, for charges ranging from arson to assault of a federal officer.

Florida Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, however, would have you believe that federal officers are being violent against fine, upstanding citizens.

At the House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday,  Murcasel-Powell stated,

“…many of my constituents that I represent in Florida fled to America from countries that use deadly force to stifle speech, and they used armed forces to suppress dissenting voices.  They cherish our Constitution, as other Americans have done for generations, because of the incredible freedoms and rights that being an American citizen gives to all of us.”

She added,

“When they see photos from Portland, they don’t see the American ideal or the America that they know.  They actually see and are reminded what they left behind.”

Mucarsel-Powell then showed a 30-second video depicting scenes purportedly from Venezuela intermingled with scenes purportedly from Portland. 

Aside from a couple of captions during the video, there was no distinction made between footage from the two locations.

The video depicted protesting crowds standing or marching with signs.  It also showed law enforcement taking action using various crowd-control methods including tear gas and physical confrontation, again with no clear identification of the location of the law enforcement officials.

No violent “protestors” were depicted.

That’s ok.  We have some video to supplement what Rep. Mucarsel-Powell avoided in her own video.

Here’s one:

And another:

And more:

And another, for good measure:

The Florida legislator then sought to conflate the situation in Portland with violent events in Venezuela, saying,

“We have seen violence in Venezuela at the hands of Maduro, firing tear gas at protestors and using brutal tactics to crush demonstrations.  That’s what we see from dictators on both the left and the right. 

“But it’s hard to distinguish these photos from those events and from the videos that we’ve seen by U.S. Federal Police in Portland tear gassing and breaking the bones of a peacefully protesting U.S. Army veteran.  Very similar.”

She then asked Attorney General Barr,

“So Mr Barr how do you restore the confidence of my constituents in the values of this country when every night on television they’re seeing these images of violence used against the peaceful protestors….

How do you restore the trust in our democracy?”

Barr responded,

“I think the force is being deployed against rioters or in situations where protestors are not following police directions.”

Mucarsel-Powell scoffed in reply, 

“Most of the protests have been peaceful, Mr. Barr.  You know that.  You know that.” 

This was not the first time during the hearing that AG Barr had pointed out the marked differences between peaceful and violent protestors.

Earlier in the hearing, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) recounted how her constituents are frightened – not of the concept of federal officers enforcing the laws, but of violent protestors.

She said,

“My constituents are scared, Americans are scared.  I mean, they watch the TV, they see all this rioting, looting going on, statues being torn down.  In Arizona, where I’m from, more guns are being sold than ever…..

“I think that it’s really important, as the saying goes, that in order to solve a problem, the first step is to realize there’s a problem.”

Barr responded,

“What makes me concerned for the country is that for the first time in my memory, that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts. 

“Why can’t we just say, you know, “Violence against federal courts has to stop?”  Could we hear something like that?”

Also during the hearing, Florida’s Rep. Mucarsel-Powell accused Barr of manipulating language when he spoke of violence, saying,

“You’re just using language for political purposes, just like my colleagues across the aisle.”

Interesting choice of words from someone who seeks to conflate violent riots with “peaceful protests.”

 

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