2020 deployment of federal forces in the United States
In June 2020, the Trump administration began deploying federal law enforcement forces to select cities in the United States in response to rioting and monument removals amid the George Floyd protests. Federal law enforcement elements were deployed under Operation Legend, Operation Diligent Valor, and the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cited an executive order regarding "monuments, memorials and statues" as allowing federal officers to be deployed without the permission of individual U.S. states. Though the Federal government does not need the States’ permission to enter as “it has the right to enforce federal laws, investigate crimes and make arrests.” 
On June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C., federal law enforcement deployed riot control tactics and munitions against protesters to clear a path for President Donald Trump to walk from the White House to the historic St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square for a brief photo op. Days later, anonymous federal forces began to appear on D.C. streets. In July 2020, federal forces were deployed in Portland, Oregon as part of the PACT, where their use of unmarked cars and officers in camouflage without clear identification badges generated a national outcry, along with revelations that Border Patrol agents in Portland were not "specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations", according to an internal DHS memo. DHS officials defended the use of unmarked vehicles and unidentified officers in camouflage. Ken Cuccinelli as acting DHS deputy secretary said the officers wore the same uniforms each day, so the crowds would know them, and "Unmarked police vehicles are so common it's barely worth discussion".
Federal forces have also deployed to Kansas City and Seattle. DHS had plans to send 150 agents to Chicago and President Trump has threatened future deployments to other cities "run by liberal Democrats," including Oakland and New York. According to a Government Accountability Office report released in September 2020 and based on self-reported data, tactical teams from 16 different federal agencies were deployed to multiple cities in May and June alone, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Detroit and Port Huron, MI; St. Louis, MO; Buffalo and New York City, NY; Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and Pearland, TX; and Seattle and Tacoma, WA.
The deployment was met with lawsuits, rebukes, and concerns over constitutionality.
As of June 19, the Department of Homeland Security had logged "at least 270 hours of surveillance" captured via airplanes, drones, and helicopters above demonstrations in 15 cities protesting police violence and the death of George Floyd. Reportedly, some footage was sent in real time to Air and Marine Operations control centers and fed from there to the "Big Pipe", a digital network enabling other federal agencies and local police to access it.
On June 5, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee wrote Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, expressing concern about surveillance and intimidation via Predator drones and the anticipated use of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel, and asking for data on surveillance and deployment. On June 9, over 30 members of Congress also voiced concerns to FBI Director Wray, National Guard Bureau Chief General Lengyel, DEA Acting Administrator Shea, and CBP Acting Commissioner Morgan about the surveillance of protesters, demanding that they cease.
Founding of PACTEdit
On June 26, 2020, in response to a wave of monument and memorial removals across the country during the George Floyd protests, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13933, Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence, announcing that the federal government would (1) prosecute anyone vandalizing or desecrating public monuments, memorials, and statues; government property; or religious property; (2) prosecute anyone inciting related violence; and (3) withhold federal support from local and state governments that failed to protect such structures from vandalism. The executive order also stated that if the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Administrator of General Services requested federal personnel "to assist with the protection of Federal monuments, memorials, statues, or property," they shall be provided by the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and/or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The order has since been interpreted as allowing federal officers to be deployed without the permission of individual U.S. states.
The Department of Homeland Security created the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT) to coordinate their response, including assessing any potential unrest and deploying personnel to protect structures. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stated that the task force would not "...stand idly by while violent anarchists and rioters seek not only to vandalize and destroy the symbols of our nation, but to disrupt law and order and sow chaos in our communities." PACT would partner with the Justice Department and the Department of Interior to share information. Other departments that would potentially coordinate with the task force are the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.
According to an internal memo, the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis received authorization to engage in domestic surveillance to protect against "threats to damage or destroy any public monument, memorial, or statue".
- May 31 - The New York Times reports recent protests caused President Trump to enter the White House bunker in Washington, D.C.
- June 1 - Clergy and protesters forcefully dispersed in anticipation of presidential photo-op at St. John's Church in Washington, D.C.
- June 3 - Journalists first report presence of anonymous agents in Washington, D.C.
- July 11 - Protester Donavan La Bella shot in the head with a projectile fired by federal agents in Portland
- July 15 - At least two individuals are apprehended by anonymous agents and placed into unmarked vans in Portland
- July 18 - Navy veteran Chris David assaulted by anonymous agents in Portland
- July 22 - Trump announces deployment of forces under Operation Legend to Chicago and Albuquerque
- July 30 - The Trump administration and the governor of Oregon reach a deal to draw-down deployed federal agents and fulfill their role using state and local police
Activities in Washington D.C.Edit
On June 1, 2020, amid the George Floyd protests in Washington, D.C., security forces deployed tear gas and other riot control tactics to forcefully clear Lafayette Square and surrounding streets of peaceful protesters to create a path for President Trump and senior administration officials to walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo op. Just before visiting the church, Trump delivered a speech urging state governors to quell violent protests by using the National Guard to "dominate the streets", or he would otherwise "deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem".
A number of law enforcement agencies were involved in the clearing operation, including personnel from the U.S. Park Police (USPP), U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Arlington County Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). D.C. National Guard Military Police were present but did not participate.
On June 3, armed camouflaged individuals were seen on the streets of Washington D.C. The individuals refused to identify themselves to journalists. A representative of the National Guard later identified the individuals as employees of the Bureau of Prisons.
Lawsuits and investigationsEdit
Three days after the Lafayette Square clearing, a group of protesters and Black Lives Matter D.C., represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, filed a federal lawsuit against Trump and Attorney General William Barr, claiming they conspired to violate, and did violate, their constitutional rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Other officials, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secret Service Director James M. Murray, were also named as defendants.
A second lawsuit was filed by three protesters on June 11 against law enforcement and Trump administration officials asserting that the forced removal represented a "gross abuse of executive power" that violated their First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
On June 22, Mark Greenblatt, Inspector General for the United States Department of the Interior, launched an investigation into the June 1 event following requests from several lawmakers. On July 23, Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, announced that he was investigating the role of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement personnel in responding to protests in Washington during the previous two months, "examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other uses of force.” He added that he would coordinate with Inspector General Greenblatt's office on the Lafayette Square investigation.
The clearing of demonstrators from Lafayette Square was widely condemned as excessive and an affront to the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly by religious leaders and former military leaders, among others. D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine referred to Trump's actions as that of a "tyrannical president".
Following the event, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement, reading in part, "at a time when our country cries out for unification, this President is ripping it apart."
Activities in Portland, OregonEdit
At the start of July, forces from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Federal Protection Service arrived in Portland, appearing at the U.S. courthouse, where they fired pepper spray or tear gas at protesters who got too close to the building. According to the Washington Post, White House officials have stated that Trump became interested in federal operations against the protesters, seeing them as a means of underscoring his law-and-order message, as "the White House had long wanted to amplify strife in cities," and “It was about getting viral online content.” DHS refers to its deployment in Portland as Operation Diligent Valor.
Protester Donavan La Bella was shot in the head with a projectile fired by federal agents in Portland on July 11. He suffered facial injuries and skull fractures, requiring reconstructive surgery. On the same day, a man hit a federal agent in the head and shoulder with a hammer and was arrested.
|BLM protests: Local officials criticise federal agent presence in Portland, BBC News|
|Portland's mayor tear gassed by federal agents, CBC News|
In the early hours of July 15, protester Mark Pettibone was walking home from a protest in Portland when an unmarked minivan stopped. A friend who had been walking with him recorded on videotape as multiple armed individuals clad in camouflage jumped out of the van; they apprehended Pettibone without identifying themselves or stating a reason for their actions. According to Pettibone, the camouflage-clad individuals placed him in the unmarked van and blindfolded him using his own beanie hat. Pettibone says the van then drove around in the city and took him to a building that he later learned after his release was the federal courthouse. There he was photographed, searched, placed in a cell, and Mirandized. Pettibone declined questioning and invoked his right to an attorney; he was released about 90 minutes later. He said he was not given any written record of his arrest or citation for any alleged crime. The U.S. Marshals Service issued a statement denying their agency was involved in Pettibone's apprehension, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection later acknowledged that its agents were involved.
On July 15, video was recorded showing several unidentified armed individuals wearing camouflage fatigues physically apprehending another demonstrator and taking him away in an unmarked van. On July 18, the Portland Tribune filmed federal agents as they repeatedly struck and pepper sprayed a protester while he stood "as solidly as a rock". Chris David, a 54-year-old graduate of the United States Naval Academy and former Navy officer clad in Navy apparel, was a newcomer to the protest, reportedly drawn by recent stories of "kidnappings" by militarized federal agents. According to David, he approached federal agents and asked them how their actions squared with their oath to the Constitution. At that point, he was struck five times by double-handed blows from clubs, causing multiple broken bones and requiring surgery.
On July 21 Richard Cline, deputy director of the Federal Protective Service, told reporters that three officers had suffered eye injuries when protesters deliberately aimed lasers at their eyes, and that the officers "may not recover sight in those eyes". The report was later repeated by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, blaming "so-called peaceful protesters".
On July 22, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler traveled to the protest site to address the assembled crowds and engage in a "listening session". Wheeler's session was interrupted when he was tear gassed by federal agents.
On July 27, the Trump administration announced that additional federal agents would be sent to reinforce the Portland Courthouse. However, under a deal worked out between Governor Kate Brown and the Trump administration, federal agents withdrew to standby locations on July 30, while state and local law enforcement forces took over responsibility for protecting the courthouse; they made no arrests and mostly stayed out of sight. A DHS spokesperson said federal officers would remain in the area at least until August 3.
On July 31, Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis Brian Murphy inquiring about federal surveillance activities after The Washington Post acquired a DHS Open Source Intelligence Report reportedly revealing that Homeland Security had access to and scrutinized Telegram app messages posted by Portland protesters. It was not clear how the messages were acquired and the messages apparently did not discuss violent activity, only tactics on how to evade law enforcement during demonstrations. A day prior, Chad Wolf had ordered the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis to stop collecting information on journalists after a separate Washington Post report.
On August 26, Federal Protective Service officers and other DHS personnel used tear gas and impact munitions to disperse a crowd of demonstrators from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in South Waterfront.
Lawsuits and investigationsEdit
The Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had already filed a lawsuit against local entities on June 28, claiming that police targeted and attacked journalists and legal observers, and on July 17, the ACLU added the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Marshals Service as defendants in that lawsuit. The group also called for a special prosecutor to investigate civil rights violations by federal agents. On July 23, federal judge Michael Simon issued a 14-day temporary restraining order blocking federal law enforcement "from arresting or using force against journalists or legal observers unless there is probable cause, ... [and stating] that journalists and legal observers will not be required to leave an area if federal agents issue an order to disperse, and that federal officers can't seize a journalist's press pass or equipment unless they're being lawfully arrested."
Attorney General of Oregon Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against the federal government and "John Does 1-10", the still-unidentified federal agents, alleging that they had seized Oregonians without probable cause. The lawsuit requested a restraining order to be issued against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS, the U.S. Federal Protective Service and U.S. Marshals Service to stop them from making further arrests in Portland. It alleged violations of civil rights by arresting and detaining people without a warrant and denying them due process in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
On July 27, Protect Democracy and Perkins Coie filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Wall of Moms, Don't Shoot Portland, and several protesters against the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Protective Service, the Department of Justice, and the heads of these federal agencies. The suit accuses the defendants of violating the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights and using excessive force, and it also claims that several of the acting officials haven't been confirmed for their roles and are overstepping their legal authority. The suit seeks to limit federal law enforcement to protecting federal property and to bar them from using specific actions, such as excessive crowd-control measures and custodial detentions without probable cause.
U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams requested that the DHS Office of Inspector General conduct an investigation into the actions of DHS personnel. On July 23, Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, announced that he and the Inspector General's office at the Department of Homeland Security would be investigating the federal law enforcement responses in Portland, "examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other uses of force."
The Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, said the actions of the federal agents were a "blatant abuse of power" and reported having told Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that "the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets" and accused him of "putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm's way". In an NBC News editorial, senior U.S. Senator for Oregon Ron Wyden described the federal officers as an "occupying army—complete with fatigues, military-style equipment and tactics that are utterly unacceptable in an American city." Oregon's junior U.S. Senator, Jeff Merkley, condemned "deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for" and demanded "not only that these acts end, but also that they remove their forces immediately from our state." Kentucky Senator Rand Paul stated, "Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will." Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern referred to Trump as a "dictator".
The chairs of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Judiciary Committee, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform jointly authored a letter calling for an investigation, writing: "Citizens are concerned that the Administration has deployed a secret police force, not to investigate crimes but to intimidate individuals it views as political adversaries".
Cornell University professor of constitutional law Michael C. Dorf said, "The idea that there's a threat to a federal courthouse and the federal authorities are going to swoop in and do whatever they want to do without any cooperation and coordination with state and local authorities is extraordinary outside the context of a civil war." Attorney Juan Chavez, the Northwest vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, told Oregon Public Broadcasting in response to the Pettibone case, "It's like stop and frisk meets Guantánamo Bay ... It sounds more like abduction. It sounds like they're kidnapping people off the streets."
DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf dismissed criticism saying, "I don't need invitations by the state, state mayors or state governors to do our job. We're going to do that, whether they like us there or not," and "If you are a violent rioter looking to inflict damage on federal property or law enforcement officers, you need to find another line of work ... We will not retreat, we will continue to protect our facilities and our law enforcement officers." Wolf further defended Homeland Security's actions during the Portland protests at a Senate panel on August 6, denouncing local officials' lack of cooperation as "dangerous" and dismissing two former DHS secretaries' criticisms that federal agents had "no respect for ... the wishes of local authorities" as "dead wrong". He contended that DHS and DOJ officers were "abandoned" by city officials and that the "Cooperation and assistance our federal officers receive in any other city around the country did not exist in Portland."
The Intercept noted the use of smoke grenades containing Hexachloroethane particularly noting that "Protesters who were exposed to chemical gas ... report ... effects not usually associated with tear gas".
Activities in SeattleEdit
In advance of the July 4 holiday, CBP sent agents in support of FPS forces to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle. CBP deployed 50 total agents that were then distributed among Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and Washington, D.C. State and city officials and the Seattle Police Department were not informed of the activity. They did not make any arrests in Seattle. DHS sent BORTAC agents and ICE tactical officers to both Seattle and Portland. The Washington Post reported on July 20 that the federal forces, sent in anticipation of clashes on Independence Day, had mostly been withdrawn from Seattle.
On July 23, and unspecified number of CBP agents were sent to an undisclosed location in the Seattle area. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan learned of the deployment from the agency late in the day on July 23, despite an earlier claim from DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, who told her the agency had no plans to send federal agents to the city and that he would inform her of any changes.
On July 25, thousands of protesters gathered in Seattle (one of several U.S. cities) where demonstrations took place in solidarity with Portland, Oregon after tensions escalated due to the Trump administration's decision to deploy federal agents against the wishes of local officials. The federal agents were not a visible presence in the protests on Saturday, where city and county police arrested 45 people.
The following week, the federal security detail sent to Seattle was withdrawn, following continued pressure from local and Washington state officials.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee responded to the deployment in a tweet stating "President Trump sent federal officers to Seattle because he is itching for a confrontation. He wants attention. We shouldn't give him either. Keep it peaceful, keep the attention where it belongs – on building a better, more just Washington for everyone." Washington U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell co-sponsored a bill to limit the activities of federal agents to federal property and the immediate vicinity, unless requested by the mayor and governor, and to prevent unmarked vehicles from being used in arrests.
In response to the withdrawal of federal officers, King County Executive Dow Constantine said the "apparent swift departure of Trump's uninvited and unneeded federal forces is a welcome turn of events."
The President's action of deploying federal law enforcement to various U.S. cities was code named Operation Legend. (The operation was named after, although not capitalized the same as, LeGend Taliferro, a Kansas City-native child victim of gun violence.)
On July 8, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that federal law enforcement would first be dispatched to Kansas City, Missouri. The federal assistance was at the request of governor Mike Parson, although Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas stated that he was neither consulted nor notified about the operation. Kansas City activist Skyler B. Harrington from the organization Black Rainbow wrote in an editorial, "We are on the verge of a federal occupation in Kansas City—and you should be alarmed...We are the guinea pig for President Donald Trump's promise to 'take over cities'...Healing our communities has never been and never will be achieved through increased policing...We must fundamentally divest from our broken policing system to invest in our communities."
Attorney General Barr directed agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help local law enforcement to quell a "surge of violent crime." Agents were expected to be on the ground by July 18.
On July 20, the first federal arrest under Operation Legend was announced. That same day, Trump publicly praised the Portland policing and said he may send "more federal law enforcement" to "New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, and other cities to deal with unrest". Trump said, "I'm gonna do something, that I can tell you, because we're not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these—Oakland is a mess. We're not going to let this happen in our country." Trump further said the listed cities were "all run by liberal Democrats".
On July 21, U. S. Attorney Timothy Garrison specified that an additional 225 federal agents from the FBI, the DEA, the USMS, and the ATF would join 400 agents already working and living in the Kansas City area. Garrison argued that the operation will not bear any resemblance to the those in Portland, insisting that agents will be clearly identifiable.
On July 22, President Trump announced that forces would be deployed to Chicago and Albuquerque as part of Operation Legend. In an interview with Sean Hannity the next day, Trump added that if invited, "We will go into all of the cities, any of the cities. We're ready. We will put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they're doing. And they're strong. They're tough. And we could solve these problems so fast."
On July 29, the Department of Justice announced that Operation Legend had expanded to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. More than two dozen federal officers were sent to each city from a combination of the FBI, DEA, ATF, and the U.S. Marshals to work on existing local law enforcement efforts aimed at combating gang violence, gun crimes, and drug trafficking. The expansion also included several millions dollars in funding, some of it going to hire additional local law enforcement officers.
|Mayors respond to Trump agent 'surge', BBC News|
The deployment was jointly condemned by the Mayors of Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, D.C., and Kansas City. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the plan, arguing "What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents". On July 27 mayors Wheeler, Durkan, Lightfoot, Lucas, Keller and Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. jointly called on Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized agents to cities against those cities' wishes, describing the deployment as an "egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities".
The Oakland Police Department stated it had not requested federal assistance, and the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild denounced the plan as "not only unconstitutional but a dangerous escalation towards fascism."
Philadelphia's mayor Jim Kenney denounced the plan and said his city would "use all available means to resist such a wrong-headed effort and abuse of power", and district attorney Larry Krasner issued a statement warning that "Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges".
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said of a potential deployment, "It would backfire, it wouldn't make us safer, and we would immediately take action in court to stop it...From my point of view, this would be yet another example of illegal and unconstitutional actions by the President."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a news conference on July 23 said that during a phone call with the President on July 22 that both were able to agree that no federal action would be necessary to address the rising crime rates in New York City, and that if Trump had changed his mind he would talk with Cuomo first.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller opposed the expansion, saying "There's no place for Trump's secret police in our city"; Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier likewise opposed the plan. U.S. Senator from New Mexico Martin Heinrich condemned the expansion, writing: "If we can learn anything from Portland, it's that we don't need this kind of 'help' from the White House. The President is currently using federal law enforcement agents like a domestic paramilitary force. That's precisely how fascism begins and none of us should ever encourage or accept it."
United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released a statement saying, "In deploying federal law enforcement to patrol American cities like Portland and Chicago and silence those exercising their First Amendment rights, Donald Trump is drawing from the playbook of the worst dictators of the past century. Like others we have seen in some of the darkest periods of history, he is perpetuating a myth of disorder and mob violence–which is not occurring—to justify his deployment of heavily armed, anonymous, military-style agents into our communities who pull peaceful citizens into unmarked vehicles and detain them without lawful cause. These actions are never justified in what is supposed to be the world's greatest and freest democratic republic."
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said, "The legal basis for this use of force has never been explained...it is not at all clear that the Attorney General and the Acting Secretary are authorized to deploy federal law enforcement officers in this manner." U.S. House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson and U.S. House Oversight and Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney wrote a letter calling for investigation into the deployment. House and Senate Democrats revealed plans for the "Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America's Streets Act" requiring federal officers to identify themselves and limit their activities to directly nearby federal property. House Democrats also included a requirement for identification in the year's National Defense Authorization Act.
Tom Ridge, DHS's founding Secretary and a former governor of Pennsylvania, decried the deployment, saying DHS "was not established to be the president's personal militia". Ridge further opined "it would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention into one of my cities." Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson likewise condemned the deployment. Former DHS Senior Official John Sandweg argued the deployment "is so damaging to the brands of the agencies. It guts public safety." Some DHS employees, speaking on condition of anonymity, decried the deployment as "blatantly unconstitutional and an embarrassment to the agency and the career civil servants who work here."
Boston College constitutional law professor Kent Greenfield said, "The president is not the king...The president does not have the ability to require states to enforce their laws in a certain way, or to elbow aside their law enforcement abilities." University of Notre Dame law professor Jimmy Gurulé said, "There is no federal statute agents are enforcing by engaging with protesters. My concern is whether their protection of federal property is a ruse to interfere with protesters' free speech."
Drexel University law professor Anil Kahlan said, "The rhetoric is basically labeling people who are fellow citizens as domestic enemies and then deploying these paramilitary forces to aggressively engage in a show of force against them...There are serious, substantive legal concerns with these activities." Rutgers University professor of law and director of Rutgers' Constitutional Rights Clinic Alexis Karteron said, "Federal troops descending on American cities, that is very troubling, outside of historic practices, and almost certainly illegal."
Harvard legal scholar Andrew Crespo analyzed on Lawfare, "The argument... is that these [federal] agents complied with the Fourth Amendment because they did not need probable cause to put [protestors] in the van in the first place. This assertion is glaringly wrong. It has been glaringly wrong for at least forty years, ever since the Supreme Court's opinion in Dunaway v. New York."
- George Floyd protests in Washington (state)
- Police brutality in the United States
- BORTAC, U.S. Border Patrol's SWAT team equivalent
- Little green men (Ukrainian crisis), unidentified camouflaged troops used in the Russian annexation of Crimea.
- Secret police
- Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
- Raymond, Adam K; Danner, Chas (July 17, 2020). "Unidentified Federal Agents Are Detaining Protesters in Portland". nymag.com. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
- "Federal agents 'abuse power' in Portland arrests". BBC News. July 18, 2020.
- Sweet, Lynn (July 22, 2020). "Trump to send federal agents to Chicago as part of 'Operation Legend' to help local cops, not patrol Portland-style". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Liptik, Kevin (July 22, 2020). "Trump set to expand federal policing effort to Chicago and Albuquerque". CNN. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Lang, Marissa; Dawsey, Josh; Barrett, Devlin; Miroff, Nick (July 24, 2020). "Operation Diligent Valor: Trump showcased federal power in Portland, making a culture war campaign pitch". Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 25, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
- Flanagan, Kaitlin (July 23, 2020). "Docs: Homeland Security's Portland protests mission called 'Operation Diligent Valor'". KOIN (a CBS affiliate). Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "DHS forms task force to protect monuments over July 4th weekend". UPI.
- "DHS Announces New Task Force to Protect American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues". Department of Homeland Security. July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- "Trump threatens to send officers to more US cities". BBC News. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Does Trump have the right to send in federal forces?". BBC News. September 2, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
- Bennett, Dalton; Cahlan, Sarah; Davis, Aaron C.; Lee, Joyce (June 8, 2020). "The crackdown before Trump's photo op: How law enforcement cleared protesters outside the White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- "A dangerous new factor in an uneasy moment: Unidentified law enforcement officers". Washington Post. June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Johnson, Martin (July 1, 2020). "DHS deploying new task force to protect monuments ahead of July 4". TheHill.
- "Trump says U.S. will crack down on anti-racism protests in Democratic-led U.S. cities". CBC. Thomson Reuters. July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Zolan Kanno-Youngs (July 19, 2020). "Federal Officers Deployed in Portland Didn't Have Proper Training, D.H.S. Memo Said". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Dinan, Stephen (September 10, 2020). "16 federal agencies sent SWAT teams to deal with protests: Audit". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- "Federal Tactical Teams: Characteristics, Training, Deployments, and Inventory" (PDF). Government Accountability Office. September 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- Golden, Hallie (July 25, 2020). "'That's an illegal order': veterans challenge Trump's officers in Portland". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Kanno-Youngs, Zolan (June 19, 2020). "U.S. Watched George Floyd Protests in 15 Cities Using Aerial Surveillance". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Members of House Committee on Oversight and Reform (June 5, 2020). "Letter to Acting Secretary Wolf re: Peaceful Protesters" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "Letter on government surveillance of protesters" (PDF). June 9, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Devereaux, Ryan (July 25, 2020). "Before Portland, Trump's Shock Troops Went After Border Activists".
- "Chad Wolf: who is the Trump official leading the crackdown in Portland?". the Guardian. July 24, 2020.
- Stahl, Jeremy (July 21, 2020). "This Is Still Happening: Chad Wolf". Slate Magazine.
- Office of the Federal Register (July 2, 2020). "Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence". Federal Register. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
- Da Silva, Chantal (July 1, 2020). "DHS Launches Task Force to Protect U.S. Monuments, Memorials and Statues". Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Kristen Holmes; Geneva Sands (July 1, 2020). "Homeland Security establishes task force to protect monuments, memorials and statues". CNN. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- "DHS Authorizes Domestic Surveillance to Protect Statues and Monuments". Lawfare. July 20, 2020.
- Baker, Peter; Haberman, Maggie (May 31, 2020). "As Protests and Violence Spill Over, Trump Shrinks Back". The New York Times.
- Tan, Rebecca; Schmidt, Samantha; Hawkins, Derek (June 2, 2020). "Before Trump vows to end 'lawlessness,' federal officers confront protesters outside White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- "Trump vows to 'dominate the streets' by calling in military". The Irish News. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Colvin, Jill; Superville, Darlene (June 2, 2020). "Tear gas, threats for protesters before Trump visits church". Associated Press. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "Trump says he's 'president of law and order,' declares aggressive action on violent protests". CBS News. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Davis, Aaron (June 14, 2020). "Officials familiar with Lafayette Square confrontation challenge Trump administration claim of what drove aggressive expulsion of protesters". The Washington Post.
- Capaccio, Anthony (June 4, 2020). "Federal Plan to Control D.C. Protests Taps 7,600 Personnel". Bloomberg.
- Hsu, Spencer S. (June 4, 2020). "Civil liberties groups sue Trump, Barr for forcefully removing Lafayette Square protesters". The Washington Post.
- "Docket for BLACK LIVES MATTER D.C. v. TRUMP, 1:20-cv-01469". CourtListener. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- Beaujon, Andrew (June 4, 2020). "Civil Rights Groups Sue Trump and Barr Over Assault on Lafayette Square Protesters". Washingtonian. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- "Black Lives Matter D.C. et al. v. Trump et. al. Case No. 1:20-cv-01469, Complaint". June 4, 2020 – via The Washington Post.
- "Civil Rights Groups Sue Trump, Barr for Tear-Gassing Protesters Outside White House" (Press release). ACLU of DC. June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- "Black Lives Matter D.C. v. Trump". ACLU of DC. June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Thomsen, Jacqueline (June 11, 2020). "'Gross Abuse of Executive Power': Trump Faces Another Lawsuit Over Forced Clearing of Lafayette Square Protesters". National Law Journal.
- "Docket for BUCHANAN v. TRUMP, 1:20-cv-01542". CourtListener. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- "Watchdog eyes violent routing of protesters near White House". ABC News. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
- Cohen, Max (July 23, 2020). "DOJ IG launches probe into law enforcement actions in Portland and Washington, D.C." Politico. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "Press release - DOJ OIG Announces Initiation of Work" (PDF). Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Epps, Garrett (June 2, 2020). "Trump's Grotesque Violation of the First Amendment". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- Baker, Peter; Haberman, Maggie; Rogers, Katie; Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Benner, Katie; Willis, Haley; Triebert, Christiaan; Botti, David (June 2, 2020). "How Trump's Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 6, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Collinson, Stephen (June 4, 2020). "Military leaders condemn Trump over protest response". CNN.
- Manu Raju (June 2, 2020). "Top Republican senators defend Trump's church photo-op after peaceful protesters cleared out". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "Statement by AG Racine on President Trump's Unconscionable Order to Assault Peaceful Protestors Around Lafayette Square" (Press release). Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. June 2, 2020.
- "Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Trump Press Conference & Photo-Op" (Press release). Office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. June 1, 2020.
- Victoria Lozano, Alicia (July 21, 2020). "Federal agents, Portland protesters in standoff as chaos envelops parts of city". NBC News. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Levinson, Jonathan. "Federal Officers Shoot Portland Protester In Head With 'Less Lethal' Munitions". www.opb.org.
- "Police: Arrest made after hammer attack on federal officer". Associated Press. July 11, 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Campbell, Josh (July 21, 2020). "Neither side is backing down as federal agents and protesters clash in Portland". CNN. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Levinson, Jonathan; Wilson, Conrad (July 16, 2020). "Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets". Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
- Klippenstein, Ken (July 17, 2020). "The Border Patrol Was Responsible for an Arrest in Portland". The Nation.
- John Ismay (July 20, 2020). "Portland Protests: A Navy Veteran Had a Question for the Feds. They Beat Him in Response". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Navy Vet Beaten by Federal Agents at Portland Protests in Viral Video: 'They Came Out to Fight'". Time.
- McEvoy, Jemima (July 24, 2020). "White House: 3 Federal Officers Likely Permanently Blinded By Portland Protesters". Forbes. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Benham, Steve (July 22, 2020). "Wheeler meets with protesters for 'listening session'; demands feds leave, gets gassed". KATU. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "Portland's mayor tear gassed by federal agents". CBC News. Associated Press. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
- Tribe, Lawrence (July 23, 2020). "'A Profoundly Un-Amerian Attack On Civil Society': Why Trump's Paramilitary Force is Unconstitutional". WBUR Boston. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Barrett, David; Miroff, Nick (July 27, 2020). "Trump administration sending more federal agents to reinforce Portland courthouse". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Gardner, James Ross. "Trump's Fake Solution to the Fake Crisis in Portland". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Taylor, Adam; Miroff, Nick; Farenthold, David A. (July 31, 2020). "Calm returns to Portland as federal agents withdraw". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
- "DHS had access to messages from Portland protesters, document shows". July 31, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
- "Police declare unlawful assembly at ICE building, make 11 arrests". KGW. August 26, 2020. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
- Flaccus, Gillian (July 20, 2020). "Federal agents, local streets: A 'red flag' in Oregon". AP News. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Orr, Donald (June 28, 2019). "ACLU Sues Portland Police, Saying Officers Attacked Journalists At Protests". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- Ellis, Rebecca (July 17, 2020). "ACLU Adds Federal Agencies To Lawsuit Against Portland Police". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- Axelrod, Tal (July 17, 2020). "ACLU files lawsuit over federal agents in Portland". The Hill.
- Bernstein, Maxine (July 21, 2020). "ACLU sends letter to Attorney General Barr, urging a special prosecutor to investigate alleged civil rights violations by federal officers in Portland". The Oregonian.
- Tillman, Zoe (July 23, 2020). "A Judge Said Federal Officers Can't Arrest Or Use Force Against Journalists In Portland". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "Case No. 3:20-cv-1035-SI, Temporary Restraining Order Enjoining Federal Defendants" (PDF). aclu-or.org. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- "Judge in Portland bars federal officers from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers". cnn.com. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Gillespie, Emily (July 18, 2020). "Oregon attorney general sues federal agencies for allegedly violating protesters' civil rights". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Portland protests: Oregon sues over 'unlawful detentions'". BBC News. July 19, 2020.
- Wilson, Conrad; VanderHart, Dirk; Powell, Meerah (July 17, 2020). "Oregon Sues Federal Agencies Over Protest Enforcement". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
- Flanigan, Kaitlin (July 27, 2020). "Lawsuit: Trump using feds in Portland to create national police force". KOIN (CBS affiliate). Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Bernstein, Maxine (July 27, 2020). "Wall of Moms, Don't Shoot Portland sue federal Homeland Security Department". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Gazaway, Wright; KATU Staff (July 17, 2020). "Border patrol confirms arrest in unmarked vehicle, U.S. Attorney asks for review". KATU.
- Pitofsky, Marina (July 17, 2020). "Oregon governor criticizes Trump for sending federal officers to Portland". The Hill.
- "Sen. Ron Wyden: Donald Trump turned my hometown into a war zone to distract from his failures". NBC News. July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Swan, Rachel. "Trump's threat to send federal forces to Oakland draws California pushback". SFChronicle.com. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Jarvis, Jacob (July 20, 2020). "Democrats Liken Trump to Dictator Over Election Comments, Portland Unrest". Newsweek. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Jerrold Nadler, Bennie G. Thompson, Carolyn B. Maloney. "Letter to the DHS and DOJ" (PDF).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "House Democrats Demand Investigation Into Use of Force at Portland Protests". The New York Times. Reuters. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Shinkman, Paul D. (July 21, 2020). "Pentagon Troubled by Overly Militarized Federal Agents in Portland". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Flaccus, Gillian (July 20, 2020). "Constitutional law experts see federal officers' actions in Portland as a 'red flag'". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Bernstein, Maxine (July 2, 2020). "Judge exempts journalists, legal observers from police orders to disperse during unlawful assemblies, riots in Portland". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Heer, Jeet (July 17, 2020). "Trump Unleashes His Secret Police in Portland". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Bouie, Jamelle. "Jamelle Bouie column: The border war in Portland". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Shaw, Adam (July 21, 2020). "DHS chief promises 'we will not retreat' from Portland despite criticism, tells rioters 'find another line of work'". Fox News. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Wolf defends feds in Portland protests, rebuffs former Homeland Security leaders". ABC News. August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
- Lerner, Sharon (October 10, 2020). "Federal Agents Used Toxic Chemical Smoke Grenades in Portland". The Intercept. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- Fowler, Lilly (July 21, 2020). "Like in Portland, federal agents were in Seattle | Crosscut". Crosscut. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Trump threatens to deploy federal agents to Chicago and other U.S. cities led by Democrats". The Washington Post. July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Kamb, Lewis; Green, Sara Jean; Beekman, Daniel (July 23, 2020). "Federal agents sent to Seattle area; Mayor Durkan seeks assurances they won't crack down on protesters". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
- Gutman, David; Bernton, Hal (July 24, 2020). "Durkan pleads for calm as federal agents poised near Seattle". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
- "Police and protesters clash at Seattle march". BBC News. July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Brownstone, Sydney; Groover, Heidi; Malone, Patrick; Baruchman, Michelle (July 25, 2020). "Youth Liberation Front protest in Seattle recalls familiar police standoffs as federal agents stay out of view". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Brunner, Jim (July 28, 2020). "Federal agents leave Seattle after pressure from local and Washington state officials". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Davenport, Christian (July 26, 2020). "Protests explode across the country; police declare riots in Seattle, Portland". Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "Governor Jay Inslee". Twitter. July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "Ongoing protests for racial justice in the Seattle area". KUOW. July 13, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "LeGend Taliferro's mother speaks out after groups protest initiative in 4-year-old's name". KSHB. July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Launch of Operation Legend". www.justice.gov. July 8, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Mallin, Alexander (July 9, 2020). "AG Barr announces new initiative 'Operation Legend' to tackle violent crime". ABC News. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Harrington, Skyler B. (July 18, 2020). "KC does not need occupying federal forces. Instead, bring justice to our community". Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "US attorney: Feds will be identifiable in Kansas City action". Southeast Missourian. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "'No reason' for President Trump to send federal troops to Detroit, Gov. Whitmer says". mlive. July 20, 2020.
- Martin, Jeffrey (July 20, 2020). "What is Operation Legend? Trump May Use Federal Forces in U.S. Cities". Newsweek. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Spoerre, Anna (July 21, 2020). "'Nothing to do with a shooting?': First KC arrest in federal operation fuels debate". Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Staff, KMBC 9 News (July 23, 2020). "President Trump expanding Justice Department's Operation LeGend to Chicago, Albuquerque". KMBC.
- Hannity, Sean (July 23, 2020). "President Trump on decision to cancel Jacksonville part of GOP convention, lawlessness in liberal cities". Fox News. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "Operation Legend Expanded to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee". Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs. July 29, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
- Martin, Jeffrey (July 20, 2020). "What is Operation Legend? Trump May Use Federal Forces in U.S. Cities". Newsweek.
- "Don't Send Secret Federal Agents To Chicago, Lightfoot Warns Trump: It Would 'Spell Disaster' – Block Club Chicago". Blockclubchicago.org. May 18, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Mayors ask Congress to ban deployment of militarized federal agents in cities as Trump mulls sending in more". Politico. July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- "Trump administration weighs a show of force in more cities". POLITICO. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Matt Stieb. "Militarized Agents Seen in Portland Are Deploying to Chicago". Nymag.com. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Amanda Luz Henning Santiago (July 21, 2020). "Trump threatens to send federal agents to NYC". CSNY. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Gronewold, Anna (July 22, 2020). "Cuomo says Trump agreed to hold off on federal intervention for NYC crime". Politico PRO. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Davis, Bella. "Trump considers sending federal officers to Albuquerque". New Mexico Daily Lobo. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Hoyer Statement on President Trump Deploying Federal Law Enforcement to U.S. Cities". The Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Democrats Seek Limits on Police Use; Trump Says More to Come". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Ex-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge: 'It would be a cold day in hell' before 'personal militia' would be welcomed uninvited in Pa. | TribLIVE.com". triblive.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- "Trump following Nixon 'law and order playbook on steroids': former DHS secretary". MSNBC.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- ""Disturbing And Demoralizing": DHS Employees Are Worried The Portland Protest Response Is Destroying Their Agency's Reputation". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Inc, Midwest Communications. "Trump's legal authority to deploy agents to U.S. cities may be limited, experts say". 1450 99.7 WHTC. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Silverman, Sean Collins Walsh, Ellie. "Trump is threatening to send federal agents to Philly. Here's what you need to know". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Unpacking DHS's Troubling Explanation of the Portland Van Video". Lawfare. July 25, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "Trump's use of unidentified security forces echoes Putin's 'little green men'". CNN. June 7, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- "Portland is the New Crimea: Trump's Little Green Men". Dorf on Law. Retrieved July 21, 2020.