One Big Thing: Is deploying federal officers in Portland government overreach?
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What is it?
- Protests in Portland have re-escalated as over 100 federal officers descend on the city to quell the demonstrators. Law enforcement officers have used tear gas, rubber bullets and other non-lethal tools to disperse non-violent protesters since the protests began in late May.
- A recent movement in Portland which quickly went viral is known as the Wall of Moms. This protest group is formed of mothers dedicated to supporting the BLM movement and ending police violence against nonviolent protesters.
- Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was hit with tear gas on the night of July 22 as he joined protesters in the city’s downtown. Wheeler has faced criticism for not reigning in local law enforcement using tear gas in recent weeks.
Why is it important?
- The presence of federal law enforcement in Portland has made many demonstrators nervous, especially following President Trump’s promise to crack down on the democratic cities that are “worse than Afghanistan”.
- Local law enforcement and elected officials including the mayor of Portland have asked the President to withdraw the federal agents from Portland, saying that their presence causes more violence than it prevents.
- While the Wall of Moms has gained positive nationwide attention, some have criticized the group of centering the voices of mostly white women. One similar group called “Mothers of the Movement” is comprised of the mothers of black victims of police brutality but has not received the same viral coverage.
What can you do?
- Check out what the U.S. Congress has been doing to address police brutality
- Read some potential solutions to the issue of police brutality from Foreign Policy
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