Portland protests: Ban federal agents from cities, Democratic mayors say


Six Democratic Party mayors have urged the US Congress to block the Trump administration from sending federal law enforcement agents to their cities. In a letter, the mayors argue that the agents’ presence, against the request of local authorities, is unlawful. Among the signatories is the mayor of Portland, where federal agents have clashed with anti-racism protesters.

It comes as US Attorney General William Barr is set to defend their deployment during congressional testimony.

Mr Barr is to say that the Department of Justice’s decision to send security forces to the city of Portland, Oregon, was justified following attacks on federal buildings there. Portland has seen 61 consecutive days of protests, which escalated after federal officers arrived this month. The Portland protests began as part of the nationwide racial justice rallies triggered by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May.

US President Donald Trump has said he may send forces to other cities to defend federal buildings from what he called anarchists and agitators. (BBC)…[+]