Surge of federal agents to U.S. cities
July 23, 2020 - U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened a “surge” in federal troops to quell violence in Democrat-run cities. The move bolsters his law and order credentials ahead of November’s presidential election.
On Wednesday night, in the U.S. city of Portland, Oregon, Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear-gassed by federal agents along with crowds protesting the presence of federal officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Protests spread following the police killing of black American George Floyd in Minneapolis last May. U.S. Attorney General William Barr called in thousands of state National Guard units from around the country to occupy the streets of Washington DC.
In Portland, unidentified federal officers are apprehending protesters under the authority of an executive order signed by President Trump on June 26 to protect federal statues, memorials and property.
But on Wednesday, Trump declared his intent to send federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque to fight violent crime. The president said more cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland in California, could see similar enforcement.
In Chicago, Illinois, Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot has responded to a plan to send 200 federal officers. “Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” she wrote in a tweet on Tuesday night.
The mayors of Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, DC, signed a joint letter to Attorney General Barr rejecting the federal takeover of local law enforcement.
These leaders were joined by nine more mayors in a petition to Congress to launch an investigation into Barr’s so-called “Operation Legend” initiative launched on July 8.
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