WASHINGTON (NEXTSTAR) — More Oregon lawmakers are speaking out about federal agents’ presence during the protests happening in Downtown Portland.
Representative Suzanne Bonamici recently joined the chorus of criticism aimed towards the Trump administration’s usage of federal agents saying they have only escalated tensions with protesters.
“A Navy veteran was standing peacefully and they beat him with batons,” she said. “[They] broke his hand and then doused him with tear gas directly into his face.”
Like Bonamici, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said the actions of federal agents he has witnessed are alarming.
“People, who without cause, are being grabbed and gassed on our streets,” said Wyden. Acting Department of Homeland Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli countered Wyden’s claim, however, saying the agents did identify themselves to the subject they picked up — just not the crowd.
President Trump made the assurance Monday that the agents will not be leaving Portland anytime soon unless protesters, “back off.” Taking his promise a step further, Trump said agents will likely be heading to other cities with ongoing protests.
Meantime, several Democrats have introduced new legislation aimed to reign in federal agencies. They’ve planned to tack it on to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is set for a vote in Congress this week.