The mayor of Portland was one of several voices who demanded US President Donald Trump removed federal agents from the city, after videos emerged of camouflaged federal law enforcement officers detaining protestors in unmarked vans, seemingly without cause.
Personal accounts and videos circulating on social media show protesters being taken away in these vans to federal courthouses, with a report from Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) detailing several accounts of protestors being detained without reason or explanation.
Many, including Oregon Governor Kate Brown, see this as an attempt by the Trump administration to test the limits of its executive power.
Governor Brown’s communications director told the press this was “extraordinarily concerning and a violation of [protesters’] civil liberties and constitutional rights.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler called it an "absolute abuse of federal law enforcement officials".
The Oregon Department of Justice is suing US federal agencies for civil rights abuses related to these arrests and other instances of violence committed by federal agents. Another protester was hospitalised after being shot in the head with an impact munition.
These protests are part of the ongoing response to the brutal murder of George Floyd and related instances of police brutality in the United States. Protesters in Portland have been gathering nightly since May in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.