Portland mayor calls for departure of federal troops after another night of violence

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                The mayor of Portland, in the northwest of the United States, denounces the presence in his city of the federal police forces which only reinforce, according to him, the clashes with the demonstrators.
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                                    <p>Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler again called on Sunday July 19 for the departure of federal law enforcement personnel deployed in the city in the northwestern United States, saying they were fueling violence in the city. for almost two months.

“We have dozens if not hundreds of federal agents deployed in our city,” and they are contributing to “seriously deteriorate the situation,” he told CNN. “Their presence causes more violence and more vandalism, it does not help at all (to calm) the situation. They are not welcome and we want them to leave”, explained the Democratic mayor.

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<p>Federal agents have been dispatched to end protests outside the city court to protest police brutality and racism.

The gatherings, punctuated by clashes with the police, are regularly dispersed with tear gas. Protesters also attempted to set fire to the city’s Police Association headquarters overnight from Saturday to Sunday, police said on Twitter.

“We must protect federal buildings and our population”, reacted Donald Trump, Sunday, on Twitter, lambasting local leaders “missing” who have “lost control over anarchists and agitators for months”.

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<p><strong>"People are literally kidnapped in unmarked rental vehicles"</strong>

The protests began after the death in late May of George Floyd, an African-American suffocated below the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis.

Anger has intensified after a series of arrests of protesters in the streets of the city by police, without providing a reason.

“People are literally being abducted in unmarked rental vehicles,” said Ted Wheeler. “They don’t know who puts them in the vehicles, (the police) don’t identify themselves. In my opinion, it’s unconstitutional.”

>> To read: United States: what future for the Black Lives Matter movement?

Human rights activists and US politicians strongly denounced the arrests on Friday (July 17th) and state prosecutor Ellen Rosenblum said she would file a complaint against the federal forces’ “fear tactics”.

Homeland Security Minister Ken Cuccinelli acknowledged the arrests on Friday, explaining that they were carried out in the streets to protect federal agents and take protesters suspected of violence “to a place of safety for questioning”. “We will arrest them in court, and if we locate them elsewhere, we will arrest them elsewhere,” he said on public radio NPR.

With AFP

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