The Trump administration has begun deploying 100 more federal agents to Portland, Oregon, The Washington Post reports via internal U.S. Marshals Service emails.
Militarized agents, some of them unmarked, have patrolled the city for several weeks, and declared a riot early Sunday when some people climbed a fence surrounding Portland's federal courthouse. Another round of 100 agents began arriving in Portland on Thursday, and the courthouse incident seems to have driven the administration to consider sending another 50 there, emails obtained by the Post show.
A final decision on the next deployment hasn't been made yet, senior administration officials say. While 114 agents were in Portland in mid-July, it's unclear if these new agents are relieving and replacing those forces or adding to them.
Agents have seemingly detained peaceful protesters under the guise of protecting property, even though several of those arrested said they were nowhere near federal buildings. The Department of Homeland Security has defended its actions with pictures of graffiti and "weapons" protesters were allegedly carrying. Even leaders of the department under Republican administrations have called out Trump for using the agency as his own "personal militia."
Also on Monday, the mayors of Portland; Seattle; Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Washington D.C. sent a letter to Congress urging it to bar the federal government from deploying more agents. "This administration's egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen," the mayors' letter to the House and Senate said.
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