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Inspector general finds DHS had legal authority to deploy officers in Portland but no comprehensive strategy


(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report Wednesday saying DHS had the legal authority to deploy agents and officers to Portland, Oregon, last summer but did not have a comprehensive strategy and was “unprepared.”

DHS deployed Customs and Border Protection agents to Portland, Oregon, in the summer of 2020 to protect the federal courthouse after nights of protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.

It did so under the legal authority to assist the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the new report says. FPS protects federal buildings such as courthouses. At the time, then-Acting Secretary Chad Wolf slammed the governor and mayor of Oregon for not properly protecting the courthouse.

But the report also said DHS was not up to the task and that “not all officers were properly trained to respond to riots and to conduct crowd control operations.”

“DHS was unprepared to effectively execute cross-component activities to protect Federal facilities when component law enforcement officers first deployed on June 4, 2020,” the report said. “Specifically, not all officers completed required training; had the necessary equipment; and used consistent uniforms, devices, and operational tactics when responding to the events in Portland.”

In total, DHS deployed 755 people to Portland last summer, including Federal Protective Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Secret Service personnel. Out of the 222 agents deployed, 36 were not properly trained, according to the report.

The report found that 14 of the 36 officers who were not properly trained used a non-lethal weapon against a person in Portland.

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