PORTLAND, OR – There seems to be non-stop clamoring about how Portland is so peaceful with their protests and that it’s the federal agents dispatched to protect federal property that are somehow these cold-blooded individuals.
‘F**k It. If One Of Them Cops Got Killed, Good’: Two Portland Protesters Laugh Off Explosion Near Federal Courthouse. https://t.co/jd1zPMyMC9
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 30, 2020
So, following an explosive device hurled at federal agents that detonated, Daily Caller chief video director Richie McGinniss decided to gauge some among the crowd watching the chaos to gather their thoughts on how they would feel if they knew agents were hurt or even killed by the explosion.
McGinniss addressed two young men present at the protest and asked the following:
“You guys see that explosion?”
Here’s that explosion I was talking about earlier at the courthouse:pic.twitter.com/kEKJYkmE0m
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) July 28, 2020
One of the two men mentioned that they had witnessed several “cool” explosions during the evening. McGinniss then clarified about the specific explosion, to which one of the two men stated “yeah, oh my god, yeah,” and stated that he was not part and parcel to that explosive being thrown.
So, McGinniss asked the following:
“What would you think if that did blow up around the cops, like what if one of the cops died?”
One of the two men laughed off the question, without saying anything thereafter. But one man who had not said anything prior to stated the following in response to the question:
“Fuck it. If one of them cops got killed – good.”
Cops are a leading cause of death for young men of all races.
Cops joke about killing people all day long.
Pretty sure throwing fireworks at a concrete bunker isn't going to kill anyone. There weren't any cops there anyway.
— Petra•Tumblia*greenwitch* (@petramachemathe) July 28, 2020
This is exactly the type of dangerous mentality that has embedded itself into these ongoing riots and protests across the country and particularly in Portland.
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On Wednesday, Kate Brown announced that federal officers are going to begin withdrawing from Portland.
But… they’re not.
At right around the same time, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement saying federal law enforcement officers are there to stay for now.
“After my discussions with (Vice President Mike] Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland,” Brown said in a Twitter post.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown: The feds are leaving Portland.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 29, 2020
According to the governor, federal officers “have acted as an occupying force & brought violence” to the city.
These comments, of course, are despite the fact that rioters had been torching and looting the downtown area for weeks – and it all started prior to additional federal officers being deployed to help protect federal properties.
“Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland,” Brown wrote. “Our local Oregon State Police officers will be downtown to protect Oregonians’ right to free speech and keep the peace. Let’s center the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands for racial justice and police accountability. It’s time for bold action to reform police practices.”
It was nearly the same moment that DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf released a statement.
He confirmed he and Brown had “agreed to a joint plan”.
His, however, was focused on bringing an end to “the violent activity…directed at federal properties and law enforcement officers.”
Not only that, but Wolf confirmed that the Oregon State Police (OSP) is going to have “a robust presence”. All this as they work with local law enforcement to reclaim the downtown area.
To add to the confusion, federal officers will remain in Portland until attacks on a federal courthouse cease, says Oregon U.S. attorney Billy Williams, on Monday after another night of violence. And more officers may soon be on the way.
He went on to say:
“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel. We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so.”
Feds are not actually leaving Portland pic.twitter.com/EMqOLRKhgK
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 29, 2020
In recent days, local and state officials have made clear that that the federal officers are unwelcome. As a result, the mayors of Portland and five other major U.S. cities appealed Monday to Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized agents to cities that don’t want them.
“This administration’s egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen,” the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Washington wrote to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty later requested a meeting with Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to discuss a cease-fire and the withdrawal of federal forces from Portland.
Portland has seen nightly protests for two months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. President Donald Trump said he sent federal agents to Portland to halt the unrest, but state and local officials said they are making the situation worse.
Officials say protestors were less than 100 before President Trump deployed federal officers over the July 4 weekend. Officials say the number has now reached the thousands.
Early on Monday, federal officers repeatedly fired tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Some protesters had climbed over the fence surrounding the courthouse, while others shot fireworks, banged on the fence and projected lights on the building.
President Trump took to Twitter to claim that federal properties in Portland “wouldn’t last a day” without the presence of the federal agents.
Cline did not go into detail regarding the number of officers currently present or if more would be arriving.
This all comes as US Attorney General William Barr continues to defend the deployment of federal agents to cities, saying they are needed to counter violent rioters.
In heated testimony to Congress, Mr. Barr said protesters in Portland, Oregon, are committing “an assault on the government of the United States”.
Jerry Nadler, House Judiciary Chairman, accused the department of justice of sending agents to an ongoing protest at a federal courthouse in Portland – as well other cities, by the White House to aid Mr Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Republican Jim Jordan, ranking member of the committee, played an eight-minute video montage of news reports showing protesters violently clashing with police during ongoing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality as members of the media and prominent Democrats call the protesters “peaceful.”
Attorney General William Barr defended the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying on Tuesday “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police. https://t.co/uo9hIjdkuH
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) July 28, 2020
“We are on the defense,” Mr Barr told the committee. “We are not out looking for trouble,” he said, adding that federal police are not attempting to “suppress demonstrators”.
“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims,” said Mr Barr.
He also defended the controversial June 1 clearing of a protest outside the White House that allowed Mr Trump to hold a photo op at a church, and the prosecutions of Trump associates that have been criticized as lenient.
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