The Daily Beast

Incognito Cops Roamed the Streets Amid Summer Protests. The Defense Bill Will Put a Stop to It.

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If the annual defense bill triumphs over President Trump’s veto threat, one of its measures will enshrine a direct rejection of his response to this summer’s mass protests for Black liberation. No longer will federal police forces be able to conceal their identities when summoned to respond to civil disturbances.

It’s the work of an Air Force veteran and freshman congresswoman from Pennsylvania, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Houlahan is a Democrat, but she gives credit to a Michigan Republican, Paul Mitchell, for helping craft and improve a provision that will stop federal law enforcement from being used like the so-called “little green men” of Ukraine–Russian-backed forces that concealed their identity for deniability.

“Many people, myself included, were alarmed by seeing, whether it was in Portland or on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial” a phalanx of security forces and “being unable to know who those people were and what organizations they were with,” Houlahan told The Daily Beast on Tuesday, shortly before the House vote on what’s known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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