- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union sued federal agents Friday, asking a court to prohibit the agents from attempting to disperse journalists and “legal observers” in Portland.

The liberal organization says the U.S. Marshal Service and the Department of Homeland Security have sent agents to the city despite local leaders resisting federal intervention.

The ACLU accuses the feds of using tear gas, rubber bullets and acoustic weapons to disperse protesters — including journalists and “legal observers,” which the organization says are identifiable by wearing legal garments demonstrating they’re lawyers assisting the protesters.

“This is a fight to save our democracy,” said Kelly Simon, interim legal director for Oregon’s ACLU chapter.

“Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality. This is police escalation on top of police escalation. These federal agents must be stopped and removed from our city,” she added.

One of the journalists represented by the ACLU is a freelance photographer that was shot 10 times in the back with rubber bullets on Sunday. Another journalist was attacked with tear gas. The complaint says they had “PRESS” identification but were still targeted by the agents.

Violence has erupted in Portland with clashes between protesters and law enforcement earlier this week during Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.

Democratic leaders in the state have accused President Trump of trying to score political points by sending in federal agents

“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a recent news conference.

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