Protesters In Portland surrounded a police precinct this week amid an escalation of violence in the region. On Thursday night, people in downtown Portland took to the streets to demand police reform.
They marched on the police station, where they chanted about burning it down until the department responded.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ramped up calls for law and order in Portland. Officials described the past few weeks in the area as lawless destruction and violence, but Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli has urged officials to step it up.
Cuccinelli condemned Thursday’s riots at the Portland police precinct. This latest incident marked nearly 50 straight days of riots in the city, which have racked up tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Demonstrations began four days after the death of George Floyd and have raged on ever since. Protesters have largely been calling to defund the police and bring attention to what they say is the nation’s systemic oppression of people of color.
However, Cuccinelli and DHS officials have said “these aren’t protesters, they’re criminals seeking opportunities to destroy and hurt law enforcement officials.”
When asked about the opposition the department has been facing from local officials for deploying federal agents to the area, the deputy secretary stated the administration has a duty to defend its federal buildings.
He also shot down allegations of federal officers escalating the violence. He added the unrest has been going on dozens of days longer than federal officers have been there.
Cuccinelli also dismissed allegations of secret police in the area. This came after viral videos appeared to show officials in military gear abducting protesters off the street in an unmarked van.
Moving forward, the official said President Trump and the DHS are determined to restore peace to Portland and all the nation’s “beleaguered” cities.
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