PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The federal government and local leaders are at odds regarding the handling of ongoing protests in Portland.
After a weekend of violent clashes between federal officers and rioters, the question is, where does the city go from here?
Dozens, if not hundreds, of federal officers and agents descended on downtown Portland over the weekend.
In turn, the crowds have been some of the largest the area has seen in weeks.
National focus has also turned to Portland, with the hashtag #PortlandKidnappings becoming a trending political topic on Twitter. Federal agents have been accused of using unmarked vehicles and taking people into custody without suspicion or cause.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said federal officers are in Portland to protect federal buildings and arrest criminals.
“DHS is not going to back down from our responsibilities,” Wolf said on Fox News. “We are not escalating, we are protecting federal facilities. It’s our job.”
The Portland Police Bureau changed tactics Sunday night, saying they did not engage with any crowds.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called for federal officers to leave the city, saying someone is going to get killed if they don’t.
“Before the federal troops got here, violence was way down, vandalism was way down, our local and state law enforcement officials had contained the situation. The energy was coming out of the demonstrations, we had hoped they’d end within a matter of days and what happened instead is the federal troops came in, they used their unconstitutional tactics, they injured nonviolent demonstrators, and the whole thing blew up again like a powder keg.”
President Donald Trump also spoke out, saying he won’t let the destruction continue.
“These are anarchists. And the politicians out there, yes they’re weak, but they’re afraid of these people, they’re actually afraid of these people and that’s why they say we don’t want the federal government helping.”
Wheeler joined five mayors from around the country calling for the immediate removal of federal officers from cities and for a congressional investigation of their tactics.
In a statement Monday, Gov. Kate Brown said, “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. We cannot have secret police abducting people in unmarked vehicles. I can’t believe I have to say that to the president of the United States.”
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