In Portland, Questions Swirl Around Local Police’s Coordination With Federal Officers Reply

By Arun Gupta

The Intercept

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty agrees with other elected officials in Oregon who say federal police dispatched to the city by President Donald Trump are an “occupying army,” represent “a blatant abuse of power,” and are “shadowy forces” that have been “escalating, not preventing, violence.”

Hardesty, though, stands nearly alone in saying local officials should share blame for the nightly violence engulfing the streets around the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, where the federal cops are deployed. Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell gave Trump the opportunity to send in the “secret police,” she told The Intercept. For more than a month before the federal forces came, local police had already been clashing with protesters. “Portland police overreacted at people throwing bottles at them,” Hardesty said. “They started gassing whole neighborhoods. They were doing that long before the feds showed up.”

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