Federal law enforcement officials have been captured on camera in Portland, Oregon, whisking people off in unmarked vans and walking the streets in camouflaged suits in order to 'quell' the violence on the streets. The videos also show that they are neither identifying themselves nor offering any explanation to the people about why they are being arrested. These measures were first reported by Oregon Public Broadcast , prompting outrage over the legality of these actions.
According to the OPB: "The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks."
Meanwhile, ACLU has filed a lawsuit against against the administration in Portland over the 'lawlessness' of this action, as reported by USA Today .ACLU said in a Tweet: "Federal agents are terrorizing the community, threatening lives, and relentlessly attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality. This is not law and order. This is lawlessness — and it must be stopped."
The protests in the city have continued and people have been raising their voices against the systemic racial subjugation, racism, and police brutality. According to the OPB report, "Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC, have been sent to Portland to protect federal property during the recent protests against racism and police brutality."
The greater concern, however, is that there have been multiple reports of people being arrested even when they are nowhere near a federal building and are being arrested without charge. The unidentified men, the unmarked vehicles, and the randomness of such arrests make for a grim reality and challenges the core principles of democracy that the country stands for.