The U.S. Marshals Service, a component of the Justice Department that protects federal judges and courthouses, is currently deployed in Portland along with other federal forces as part of Operation Diligent Valor.”
Videos from Portland of law enforcement dressed in combat fatigues detaining demonstrators and placing them in unmarked vans sparked national outrage last week.
On Wednesday, Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, along with Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, requested that the DOJ and DHS OIGs investigate what they called the unrequested presence and violent actions of recently deployed federal forces in Portland.
The DOJ inspector general statement also announced that the watchdog is launching a wider evaluation of the DOJ and its law enforcement components reactions to civil unrest in both Portland and Washington, D.C. over the last two months.
The review will include examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other uses of force, the statement read, adding the review was in response to congressional requests and requests from the public.
The DOJ inspector general’s office will also review the response to protests in Lafayette Square on June 1, along with the Department of Interior inspector generals office. Law enforcement cleared demonstrators outside the White House by firing chemical agents before President Donald Trumps photo op in front of St. Johns Episcopal Church.