Federal authorities from the Border Patrol, US Marshall’s Service and everyone’s favorite. the ATF, have descended upon the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland Oregon. CBS News describes the teargassing of protesters and calls from the local government for the Feds to go home.
Last Wednesday DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec (FOX News) criticized Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for prioritizing politics in his call for federal agents to leave the protests to the local authorities. That’s ludicrous. He’s supposed to prioritize politics. He represents the people of his city, not the federal government. That’s why our electoral process is set up that way you cute little fascist.
Federal agents have been detaining people without proper identifying insignia on their persons or their vehicles (Huffington Post). This is some strange behavior from professional law enforcement agents. First it sets up for some dangerous situations. Law enforcement agents in unmarked cars with no identifying uniforms attempting to arrest people in some places will get shot. That’s because the people being targeted will not know they are actually cops. Secondly, where is the accountability. Law enforcement officers wear identifying uniforms and badges so people know who they work for and can follow the cases of those who are apprehended. This is transparency in government; something we should not abandon.
Reportedly many of the Federal Agents deployed to Portland do not have training in riot control (The Hill). This is not surprising. Federal Agents aren’t generally deployed for riot control. Some military units are trained in riot control, particularly those trained for diplomat and citizen extraction from foreign nations. Riot control is also a big thing for national guard troops. This gives governors riot control assets for protests to supplement local police.
Federal Agents are supposed to be utilized to enforce federal crimes. That is their jurisdiction. Federal crimes include interstate felonies, many business crimes, international crimes and crimes against the federal government, it’s agents or assets. None of these is the case in Portland. I wonder what kind of case AG Barr would make to justify the presence of these agents. He did a wondrous job justifying the Iran Contra scheme.
So, for those who are interested. The general objective of riot control is to get the crowds to disburse. Usually riot control units will approach unruly crowds from all but one direction allowing a way for the people to leave. They will approach with their uniforms and move in sync to psychologically impress upon the crowd they are a disciplined and unified force. This will generally put fear in the minds of protesters and encourage them to depart. Tear gas is an added enhancement.
The more strategic objective of riot control officers is the apprehension of those who are deemed “instigators.” As with all political movements, most people are just there to show support for a cause but have been encouraged by political activists. Removing the real activists is accomplished by spotting them before the riot control troops move in. Sometimes paint balls are used to mark those the spotters want arrested. When the crowd is disbursed those marked people (paint ball or otherwise, electronics identification?) are grabbed up during the Exodus or shortly thereafter. Identified instigators could also be followed to see who they associate with and where.
Have a nice day.