A Homeland Security agent deployed to help quell the violence demonstrations in Portland says protesters shouted a racial epithet at a Black Federal Protective Service officer providing security at the courthouse, according to an account given to the Center for Immigration Studies.
The agent isn’t named in the account, which was posted early Monday morning and purports to give the perspective of federal officers and agents who are standing on the line to defend the courthouse, which has become the focal point for the Oregon city’s unrest.
“I’m seeing African American Federal Protective Service inspectors, twenty years’ law enforcement officer, being called the N-word to their face for the first time in their careers, by a scrawny, pasty white booger-eating communist s—-head,” the agent said in an interview with Todd Bensman, a senior fellow at CIS.
For protests that were spawned by calls for racial justice after the death of George Floyd, that account is particularly stunning.
The agent also described being in the center of the attacks, which are occurring nightly.
“Regarding injuries to agents, I personally saw an agent get hit in the leg with a bottle and limp back from the skirmish line,” the agent said. “I saw video of another agent hit similarly and limp back. One DHS law enforcement officer had irritant thrown on his arms, which turned them red and caused a burn. Another guy had a firework explode directly on his chest. The use of fireworks has increased every night.”
The agent said there’s been no reports of actual use of firearms — though Portland police early Monday released a photo of the contents of a bag found in a city park, showing prepared Molotov cocktails and loaded ammunition magazines intended for a rifle.
The agent said the protesters get worse as the nights go on and become “catatonic with hate.”
The agent’s branch of service is not identified in the posted piece.
Usually security at courthouses is provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, which is part of the Justice Department, and the Federal Protective Service, which is a police force within Homeland Security.
But the department’s upper echelons say the level of violence in Portland has forced them to send in reinforcements. Some ICE agents are involved, but the bulk of the reinforcements appear to be personnel from Customs and Border Protection.
Protesters have complained that CBP personnel are wearing camouflage rather than normal police uniforms, and they have alleged federal agents “kidnapped” agitators from the streets, stuffing them into unmarked vehicles.
Department leaders say all CBP agents and officers have insignia showing they are law enforcement, and while the agency does use unmarked vehicles, like any other law enforcement department, they have not kidnapped anyone, and those detained or arrested have been taken to the courthouse.