• EWJ

Unmarked Federal Vans and Disappearing Protesters is Anything But Nonsense

By: Amy Dong


Dear Editor,


Here is something concerning. Reports of federal agents in unmarked vehicles have been detaining protestors in Portland, with no declaration of arrest, badges, identification, or official department patches. These militarized federal agents have been policing the city without the approval of the mayor, the state, or the local authorities, with nothing more than a generic “police” patch for reference.


This is no nonsensical matter. This is the closest to dystopia that America has gotten, yet. It mirrors the characteristic secret police of authoritarian dictatorships that should be more than concerning in this day and age. There is a reason so many references have been made to Guantanamo Bay and the Stormtroopers.


Agents that wordlessly grab citizens from the streets should not be able to be chalked up to the federal government’s “sovereignty to the states”, and these agents cannot be excused for their lack of identification due to “temporary duty assignments”, especially if these federal teams have “been in place for weeks”.


Your article continues to defend these actions as organized and well-intentioned, citing that these agents are only arrested specific individuals identified for previous crimes, yet hardly any sources are being called for reference. Meanwhile, dozens of stories, from 29 year old Mark Pettibone’s detention and 30 year old Connor O’Shea, who was pursued by unidentified men while he was with a group of friends coming home from the protests, neither of which had been charged with any crimes and had no records of arrest following the incident.


Federal arrests require probable cause, something a little more concrete than simple involvement with the protests. The current media silence on a matter that draws some direct parallels to historical dictatorships is not only concerning, it’s terrifying.


Blatant and misinformed justification towards these actions are not only harmful to the situation in Portland, but harmful to our country as a whole. In justifying the beginning of tyrannical and unconstitutional behavior, we allow the government to further violate our personal liberties and rights. As an American, this behaviour should raise red flags for whichever beliefs you may foster, no matter which side you may stand.


Best regards,

Amy Dong


Original article: https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/508227-lets-stop-the-nonsense-about-federal-agents-in-portland

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