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Trump threatens to send federal officers to more US cities
21 July 2020, 06:21
US President Donald Trump has threatened to send more federal agents to major US cities to take control amid ongoing protests.
The President’s threat came after a federal crackdown on anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, that involved unmarked cars and unidentified forces in camouflage.
Critics have suggested Trump is deploying officers to cities led by Democrats in an attempt to play the “law and order” card to boost his bid for re-election.
At a White House briefing, the President hit out at a number of cities run by "liberal Democrats", including Chicago and New York, saying their leaders were afraid to act.
Trump claimed federal law enforcement officers deployed to Oregon had done a "fantastic job" restoring order amid days of protests in Portland.
But local officials have claimed the federal officers are making matters worse.
Portland's mayor has called for Trump to withdraw the agents, and the Oregon attorney general has filed a lawsuit seeking the same end. The governor and the state’s two senators, all Democrats, have also complained.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump identified New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland as places in need of federal agents, describing those cities’ mayors as “liberal Democrats”.
“We’re sending law enforcement,” he said. “We can’t let this happen to the cities.”
Mr Trump also praised the controversial federal law enforcement efforts in Portland. The city has seen ongoing protests against police brutality in the city since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minnesota in May.
Mr Trump deployed the personnel to the US west coast city two weeks ago to quell the civil unrest.
But local media in the city has stressed that the protests are not paralysing the city and are confined to a small area, and that much of life continues as normally as possible under the coronavirus pandemic.