Three federal law enforcement officials in Portland face permanent severe eye damage after rioters shined powerful lasers in their eyes during the continued attacks on a federal courthouse.
Federal Protective Service (FPS) Deputy Director of Operations Richard Cline said during a press conference this week that his department was the one that requested additional assistance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect federal facilities in Portland from violent extremists.
In describing one of the recent attacks, Cline told reporters Tuesday, “Protesters were kicking the main doors of the courthouse and shining lasers at officers. … A short while later the group had grown increasingly violent and aggressive, the plywood protecting the courthouse was taken down and a window was broken while protesters were attempting to breach the courthouse. Several hard objects, including canned food and glass bottles were thrown at our officers who were out to move them.”
Cline said that the rioters continued to throw hard objects and commercial grade fireworks at the officers and shined lasers at the eyes of officers.
“When officers responded to put out these fires, glass bottles were thrown and lasers – which can cause permanent blindness – were shined in their eyes,” Cline said.
“You’ve seen the green lasers that are being used out there, we have three officers who currently have eye injuries and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks,” he said. “We have purchased anti-laser glasses that the officers are wearing now to prevent those eye injuries.”
Cline also dampened a talking point that has been used by Democrats and the media that the officers are “unidentified,” thus making them “secret police,” something that democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has claimed.
The United States of America should not have secret police.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 20, 2020
Cline noted that the uniforms that the officers are wearing have only a name linked to their badge number. The reason that they are protecting the officer’s identities is because “about 38 of our officers that are out there have been doxxed and their personal information has been put online,” he explained.
Mark Morgan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that his agents that are being deployed have a “unique identifier” on them because agents are being doxxed, which he said jeopardizes the lives of the agents’ families because the rioters are “putting out their home information and they’re suggesting that individuals go to their homes.”
“So, yes, I as the acting commissioner have authorized and supported removing their names from their uniform,” Morgan said. “Instead, what we have though is a personal identifier, so we can identify and we have each identifier associated with a specific name so we have all that information internally and we’ll share that with the appropriate entities when it’s necessary.”
Morgan added, “So, I hope that puts to rest the lies and false rumors about they’re not properly marked.”
In the weeks following the death of George Floyd, hundreds of police officers have been injured by rioters, according to Attorney General William Barr.