Police State/Civil Liberties

Unpacking DHS’s Troubling Explanation of the Portland Van Video

By Andrew Crespo


Over the past few days, millions of people have seen a now-viral video in which two federal agents dressed in full combat gear removed an apparently peaceful protester from the streets of Portland, Oregon, and carried him away in an unmarked van. Stories have emerged of other people being taken or pursued by federal agents in a similar fashion. Meanwhile, troubling videos show federal agents in Portland beating a peacefully resolute U.S. Navy veteran and, on a separate occasion, shooting a man in the face with a nonlethal munition, which broke his skull.

As criticism of these events rolled in—including from virtually every relevant state and local official in Oregon—the Department of Homeland Security scheduled a press conference earlier this week to try to reclaim the narrative. If the point of that press conference was to reassure an anxious nation that this unfamiliar and recently constituted federal police force is following the law, it likely achieved the opposite effect.


2 replies »

  1. Some of the contents of a radio show about a week ago might at least partly explain this. I didn’t hear the show directly, but its contents were told to me.

    Apparently, as the protestors/rioters are near the Federal Building, they are filmed, potentially for hours. Perhaps during this time, they commit crimes. The protestors/rioters work in ‘shifts’. Eventually,they take their breaks, walking away. Because of the videos, their identities are well-known.
    Eventually, they are spotted by the Feds, and they are arrested.

    This article, above, seems to be based on a misunderstanding: They appear to assume that the arresting officers DON’T have “probable cause”. To a person observing ONLY the arrest (and not the hours of rioting video) they might think, ‘That person is just walking down the street! I didn’t see them do anything criminal!’.

    True, but irrelevant if the Feds have hours of video of them committing what the Feds believe are crimes.

    I have just as much reason to object to the Feds, in general, as just about anyone. But in this specific case, if they have the evidence on video, arresting them a few minutes later can hardly be a problem. The limitations period (“statute of limitations”) for most Federal felonies is 5 years. These people could be charged until about May 2025.

    The Portland Riots are a sick joke. They are not actually protesting the George Floyd murder (yes, I think that was a murder.) They are not protesting the many other similar incidents in other locations, in previous or subsequent months.

    They are treating Portland as their riotous playground, for 50 days pretending that the Portland cops were somehow at fault. Then, the Portland cops went away (I accuse them of collusion with the rioters, for having done so) and the protestors began to pretend that the Feds were at fault. Mostly just because they hate Trump, and it’s an election year.

  2. One problem with getting all autistic with the details of the riots and the police response, is that every side has a good argument.

    The police state is blooming, the youth are coddled and the boomers spoiled rotten. Our bubble empire is crumbling.

    Shit’s wrong on so many levels, that it’s impossible to label every piece of poo on the fan blades.

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