Police typically have to identify themselves before serving warrants or making arrests in America, but a federal judge in Portland recently ruled federal agents in Portland, Oregon, do not have to identify themselves when arresting suspects.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled Friday that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum lacked standing to sue the federal government. Rosenblum had sued the Trump administration alleging the federal agents deployed in Portland violated protester’s and rioter’s constitutional rights. Mosman ruled Rosenblum hadn’t articulated a state interest beyond those constitutional rights, PJ Media reported.
Buzzfeed reported that Mosman “denied a request by the Oregon attorney general’s office for an order that would require federal law enforcement officers in Portland to identify themselves when making arrests and place limits on the detention and arrests of protesters.”
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In his order on Friday, the judge repeatedly described the case as “unusual,” writing that typically in cases involving allegations of constitutional violations during protests, the people affected would be the ones to file a lawsuit, not a state. Rosenblum’s office was also seeking a future-looking injunction, which set an “unusually high bar” for the attorney general’s office to clear, he wrote.
To sue on behalf of citizens — a legal doctrine known as “parens patriae” — Oregon had to show that it had an interest that was separate from private individuals, and that a “quasi-sovereign interest” had been violated. Mosman wrote that the state offered mostly “purely hypothetical” arguments about the risks facing Oregonians by federal officers failing to identify themselves during arrests, such as the possibility of counterprotesters pretending to be federal officers to kidnap protesters.
Rosenblum’s lawsuit was just one of several that have been brought against the Trump administration by liberal states who have let violent protesters and rioters have free rein over their cities to destroy businesses, buildings, and monuments with little consequence.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael Simon ruled in favor of restricting what federal officers can and can’t do to journalists and legal observers in Portland. The ruling banned federal officers from arresting journalists and observers unless they had probable cause of a crime. The judge also ruled these same groups didn’t have to follow dispersal orders.
“Without journalists and legal observers, there is only the government’s side of the story to explain why a ‘riot’ was declared and the public streets were ‘closed’ and whether law enforcement acted properly in effectuating that order,” Simon wrote, according to Buzzfeed.
Violence continues in liberal cities across the city following the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. Floyd died on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Two months later, and major cities including Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Minneapolis are still facing violent crimes. Chicago and New York City especially have seen violent crime in the city surge, all while city officials promise to reduce police presence.
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