cloudyn.png
Wednesday November 25th, 2020 6:06AM

Oakland, Portland sue over use of federal agents at protests

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The cities of Oakland and Portland, Oregon have sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, alleging that the agencies are overstepping constitutional limits in their use of federal law enforcement officers to tamp down on protests.

The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites the deployment of U.S. agents this summer to quell protests in Portland and alleges the U.S. Marshals Service unlawfully deputized dozens of local Portland police officers as federal agents despite objections from city officials. The federal deputations have meant protesters arrested by local police could face federal charges, which generally carry stiffer penalties.

The use of federal agents in these ways is a major shift in policy and threatens the independence of local law enforcement, according to the lawsuit. The complaint cites the anti-commandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment, which says that the federal government cannot require states or state officials to adopt or enforce federal law.

In a statement Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security criticized the lawsuit.

“Yet again, dangerous politicians and fringe special interest groups have ginned up a meritless lawsuit. They aim to harm President Trump and distract from his law and order agenda," the department said. “Department of Homeland Security have acted entirely lawfully. Instead of condemning the violence we are seeing across the country, these politicians focus on scoring cheap political points to the detriment of the American people."

In the past, acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf has been a vocal defender of the administration’s response to the civil unrest in Portland

The Trump administration says the work of the federal agents is limited to federal property but the lawsuit says “the activities in cities such as Portland instead reveal a distinct and meaningful policy shift to use federal enforcement to unilaterally step in and replace local law enforcement departments that do not subscribe to the President's view of domestic ‘law and order.’"

The allegations of constitutional overreach focus on the federal government’s actions in Portland but Oakland joined the lawsuit because of concerns that the Trump administration might send U.S. agents to Oakland or deputize police officers there as well, court papers show.

Protests over racial injustice and police brutality have roiled both U.S. West cities since the death of George Floyd and drawn attacks from President Donald Trump, who threatened to send federal resources to restore law and order.

In Portland, the Trump administration sent dozens of U.S. agents to the city in July to guard a federal courthouse that had become a target of protesters, but those agents clashed with protesters blocks from the courthouse on several occasions. The state of Oregon sued over allegations that federal agents swept up protesters in unmarked cars without identifying themselves.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams said in late September that more than 80 people had been charged with federal crimes related to the protests.

Last month, Portland agreed to have about five dozen of its police officers deputized as federal agents by the Marshals Service in advance of a rally planned in the city by the right-wing group Proud Boys. The city anticipated potential clashes between left- and right-wing protesters. Troopers from the Oregon State Police and a local sheriff's department were also deputized.

City leaders have since said that they believed the police officers would only be federally deputized for that weekend and sought to cancel the agreement after the rally was over. But the U.S. Attorney for Oregon and the Marshals Service have refused to cancel the deputization, which officially expires on Dec. 31.

The lawsuit also alleges that the U.S. government has illegally erected a fence around the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, which is federal property, against the city’s wishes. The fence blocks a major bike thoroughfare that is city property, according to Portland officials.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
DOJ charges Texas billionaire in $2 billion tax fraud scheme
Federal prosecutors have charged Texas billionaire Robert Brockman in a $2 billion tax fraud scheme that they say is the largest such case against an American
5:11PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules
Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands on Thursday without having to self-quarantine upon arrival
5:10PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Harris says Biden campaign takes virus seriously
Kamala Harris says the Democratic presidential campaign’s response to positive coronavirus tests among their team “obviously stands in stark contrast to you-know-who.”
5:07PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Jewish family's painting looted by Nazis in 1933 is returned
A painting of two young, 19th-century skaters that was looted by Nazis from a Jewish family in 1933 and recently discovered at a small museum in upstate New York has been returned after 87 years
3:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Mother convicted in deaths of 2 newborns left in trash bags
A jury has convicted a South Carolina mother in the deaths of two of her newborns, who were thrown into trash bags after they were born 13 months apart
3:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Scramble to get people counted as 2020 census winds down
Census advocates across the nation have been making last-ditch efforts to get as many households to answer the 2020 census
3:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Europe, US reel as virus infections surge at record pace.
Coronavirus cases around the world have climbed to all-time highs of more than 330,000 per day as the scourge comes storming back across Europe and spreads with renewed speed in the U.S. Many places are being forced to reimpose tough restrictions they had eased just a few months ago
2:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
Former roommate of accused Capital One hacker sentenced
The former roommate of a woman accused of hacking Capital One banking company and at least 30 other organizations has been sentenced to four years in prison for illegally possessing firearms
12:50PM ( 4 hours ago )
Broadway reaches for normalcy with Tony Award nominations
Broadway’s coronavirus-shortened season is getting an awards process that reflects this tumultuous year — incomplete, seemingly unfair and filled with loss
11:31AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
New book will include final thoughts from Justice Ginsburg
Some final thoughts from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some previously unreleased materials have been gathered by one of her former clerks and will appear in a book coming out in March
4:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Harris negative for virus after canceling travel
California Sen. Kamala Harris has tested negative for the coronavirus
3:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump swipes at Fauci over mask guidance
President Donald Trump is taking some of his most overt swipes yet at Dr. Anthony Fauci while campaigning in North Carolina
3:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
DOJ charges Texas billionaire in $2 billion tax fraud scheme
Federal prosecutors have charged Texas billionaire Robert Brockman in a $2 billion tax fraud scheme that they say is the largest such case against an American
5:11PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules
Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands on Thursday without having to self-quarantine upon arrival
5:10PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Harris says Biden campaign takes virus seriously
Kamala Harris says the Democratic presidential campaign’s response to positive coronavirus tests among their team “obviously stands in stark contrast to you-know-who.”
5:07PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Biden campaign finds 3rd virus link; Harris suspends travel
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is suspending in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for the coronavirus
5:00PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Europe, US reel as virus infections surge at record pace
Coronavirus cases around the world have climbed to all-time highs of more than 330,000 per day as the scourge comes storming back across Europe and spreads with renewed speed in the U.S. Many places are being forced to reimpose tough restrictions they had eased just a few months ago
5:00PM ( 19 minutes ago )