PORTLAND—Leaders of cities like Portland and Chicago publicly say they don’t want federal law enforcement policing protesters. But as President Donald Trump threatens to send in the troops to a handful of America’s largest cities, some of those same locales’ police unions appear to be circumventing elected officials to work with the feds.
On Monday, Trump indicated a desire to send federal law enforcement to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland, apparently to crush protests there because police are “restricted from doing anything.” His remarks came after federal agents—revealed to be Customs and Border Protection in camouflage uniforms—were deployed to Portland, Oregon, where they faced outcry for shooting a less-lethal projectile into an activist’s head and shoving protesters into unmarked vans.
Although Portland leadership roundly decried the federal presence, the president of Portland’s police union met with the head of the Department of Homeland Security last week to discuss the agents, apparently without the knowledge of the city’s police chief. The president of Chicago’s police union made his own envoys, asking Trump for federal intervention.
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