Portland Journalists Ask For Sanctions As Federal Agents Continue To Assault Reporters And Legal Observers

from the aaaaaand-I'm-proud-to-be-an-Americaaaan-where-at-least-I-[pepper-spray] dept

Protests related to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have passed the two-month mark in Portland, Oregon. In response to unfettered liberalism, the Trump administration has sent in the troops. Officers from ICE, CBP, US Marshals Service, and other federal agencies flooded into Portland with the ostensible aim of protecting federal property, like the courthouse targeted by protesters.

Instead of a measured response to defuse tensions, federal officers engaged in Gestapo tactics. Unidentified officers in unmarked vehicles began removing protesters from the streets, hauling them away to unknown locations for questioning. Those released after being detained were given no paperwork commemorating their interaction with America's secret police, nor were they told why they had been detained.

This wasn't the only broadside against Constitutional rights. Federal officers also attacked journalists and legal observers. This didn't just violate social contracts. It violated the First Amendment. Local journalists and observers sued. And they obtained a restraining order from a federal court blocking federal agents from attacking clearly identified journalists and observers. The court noted that local law enforcement -- which had been hit with an earlier restraining order -- was able to abide by the court-ordered rules of engagement. The court said the federal government offered no plausible argument why it would be impossible to abide by the same restrictions.

The [federal] police are rioting.

The plaintiffs are back in court asking for sanctions to be brought against the federal government for refusing to abide by the restraining order. (h/t Mike Scarcella)

The opening of the motion [PDF] contains some invective, but it appears to be justified.

On July 23, 2020, the Court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting federal agents from assaulting and dispersing journalists and legal observers. Within hours, federal agents began violating the Court’s TRO and have continued to do so every night since. These violations are not inadvertent. They are intentional acts by a lawless president, who has sent his paramilitary forces to shoot up the streets of Portland, choke downtown in a haze of toxic chemical fumes, and generate reelection soundbites—in blatant disdain of public safety, the rule of law, and the most fundamental principles of our Constitution.

The plaintiffs aren't wrong. Trump has made it clear he's only sending federal agents into "liberal" cities. This may score points with his voter base but it's doing nothing for the rest of America, which has expressed its disdain for the tactics deployed in Portland.

These tactics are forbidden -- not just by the Constitution, but by a court order directly addressing the targeting of journalists and protesters. And yet, the government persists.

On July 23, a federal agent shot reporter Jonathan Levinson while he was trying to take a photo. No protesters were near him. A federal agent also shot journalist Brian Conley, when he was trying to video an arrest. Later that night, federal agents tear-gassed Mr. Conley. The same night, federal agents shot reporter Rebecca Ellis and separately prevented her from documenting their dispersal of protesters.

On July 24, federal agents shot legal observer Haley Nicholson in her chest, just above her heart, from four feet away. Impact munitions should not be used at distances of less than 15 feet or above the waist.

On July 25, federal agents deliberately sprayed toxic chemicals into the faces of multiple legal observers, including Bruce Knivlia and Kat Mahoney, at point blank range. They were all clearly identified in blue ACLU vests and green NLG hats. They also shot photojournalist Kathryn Elsesser, who was also clearly marked with “PRESS” on her helmet.

On July 26, a federal agent temporarily left an advancing line of agents to kick a flaming tear-gas canister directly at a group of clearly marked journalists.

On July 27, Plaintiffs contacted government counsel to raise these blatant violations. (Declaration of Matthew Borden (“Borden Decl.”), Ex. 1.) Instead of investigating and providing information as promised, the federal defendants claimed that they were unaware of what agents and commanders were involved and offered nothing to extenuate their violations of the TRO. That night, the federal agents heaped on more acts of contempt.

Here are a couple of sworn declarations [PDF] by journalists and observers [PDF] who have been attacked by federal officers. More declarations can be found here.

If sworn declarations aren't enough, there's also video:

Here's a copy [PDF] of the depressing communication the law firm representing the journalists had with DHS counsel Joshua Gardner. When asked for information about the agencies he represents, Gardner had almost nothing useful to say.

First, Gardner said he had no idea what policies or directives were guiding agents' actions. He promised to "check" on those. The DHS's lawyer also claimed agents had seen protesters "masquerading" as journalists. When asked for proof of these claims, Gardner was unable to cite any such instance being observed by a federal officer. Finally, the government's lawyer claimed he had no information about any officers observed violating the restraining order or any details about supervisors tasked with communicating the specifics of the order to federal agents.

Chances are, very few agents have been formally made aware of the order's specifics. Ignorance is, at least for the moment, bliss. Those who don't know can't be blamed for their actions. Or, at least, not as easily. Plausible deniability in all things, including the continued violations of rights in contempt of a court order. But this ignorance may be less blissful than usual. The restraining order made it clear officers were to be made aware as soon as possible because the usual lawsuit escape hatch was being removed by the court issuing the order.

Because the Court considers any willful violation of this Order, or any express direction by a supervisor or commander to disregard or violate this Order, to be a violation of a clearly established constitutional right and thus not subject to qualified immunity in any action brought against any individual employee, officer, or agent of the Federal Defendants under Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), notice of this Order must be widely disseminated.

If you're paying close attention, you can see the loophole being exploited. "Willful violations" are tough to prove when no one has received updated instructions. And if no one orders anyone to violate the court order, supervisors can't be held accountable either. It's a perfect storm of non-accountability. And that's what appears to be going on in Portland.

The plaintiffs are asking for justice and respect for their rights. They're asking for the federal government to play by the rules. Federal agents are responding with "Fuck you. Make me." The federal government is priming the powder keg while pretending to care about buildings and statues. If a federal court can't make federal agents play by the Constitutional rules, who can?

Filed Under: 1st amendment, arrests, attacks, dhs, journalists, legal observers, portland, protests, restraining order, tro


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 11:02am

    lol

    If you go around carrying pictures of chairman Mao you're not gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 11:28am

    So if i carry a pictrue of bugs bunny, elmer fudd, kermit the frog, and mz piggy i loose my first amendment rights, because i am carrying a picture of someone you done like. Please...

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 11:28am

    '... make me.'

    I am shocked, shocked I say, that federal officers under the direction of president who is a member of the party that likes to tout itself as pro-'law and order' would ignore a legal ruling and continue to violate both the law and constitutional protections. Why, it's almost enough to make you think that the 'law and order' bit only counts for laws they like, or at least that they themselves are making use of at the moment.

    That said it looks like it's the feds called the judge's bluff, and they either double down and drag federal officers to court or back off and admit that government agents can do whatever the hell they want.

    And lastly, for anyone trying to defend these actions by claiming that protesters are 'destroying property', I simply ask this: If given the choice between losing a few buildings or losing constitutional protections and the legitimacy of the legal system, which do you choose?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:36pm

      Re: '... make me.'

      One Guy, you just don't understand. Anyone who doesn't worship the long-suffering fedaral agents who are sacrificing so much in Portland is obvious a rioting terrorist who is not worthy of any legal protection.

      There you are, isn't that better now you understand?

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    • icon
      ECA (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:03pm

      Re: '... make me.'

      How many "protect the federal buildings", do you have to protect?
      Cover the windows and the Brick and mortar does a good job, BY ITSELF..
      Put the men INSIDE the building and if they enter, arrest them.

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    • identicon
      Constitutable, 30 Jul 2020 @ 7:11pm

      Re: '... make me.'

      The fact that those buildings are federal is based on the constitutin, without the constitution no federation therefore no federal buildings and no federal agents.

      So its those "feds" who do more harm to those buildings than any rioters ever could.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:02pm

    This isn't surprising

    Even if they were ordinary law enforcement they stood a good chance of getting away with no greater penalty than desk time or paid leave.

    But these are unmarked DHS troops who are loyal not to law, not to the US Constitution, not to the flag, land and people of the United States, but to Donald Trump himself.

    They're feudal yeomen and are ployed or deployed at the pleasure of their lord, President Trump.

    No restraining order is of their concern. They may have to be corralled by force. Is the Oregon National Guard available?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 5:04pm

      Re: This isn't surprising

      Um, Uriel...

      The last time a state stood up to the federal government and said "no", it didn't end up well for the state. ... or for the other states that stood beside it.

      The fact that those particular states claimed that they were no longer part of the US doesn't mean anything, because the US government refused to recognize the secession (and Texas v White later ruled definitively on).

      So sending the Oregon National Guard would end very badly indeed.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 10:43pm

        Ending very badly indeed

        Yes, Anonymous Coward, of course you are right. We should let the Trump-loyalist stormtroopers run roughshod over the rights of the petty peons. After all, our unchecked law enforcement only slaughters a few a day, robs the marginalized of billions commits more sexual assaults and rapes than it resolves and openly brutalizes professional journalists.

        What more can they do except add entire districts to their list of fair-game marginalized undesirables to harass?

        Snark aside, with Trump suggesting today that maybe we should delay the 2020 General Election, the Trump Administration is already taking steps towards Ermächtigungsgesetz. I had thought it was going to happen during the 2018 lame duck session, but we're creeping up on it closely.

        There will be a point where our oubliettes aren't killing our undesirables fast enough, and they'll need to justify speeding up the process one way or another. In the Wansee Conference, budgeting concerns were the justification: Germany just couldn't afford the upkeep of all these ghettos and work camps!

        It'll creep forward as our courts stepping up federal executions. That's the beginning of the purge.

        The problem is, executions are tedious. We'll move forward with massacres into mass graves. But those make the troops involved sick, even if they're allegedly made of iron like Einsatzgruppen. It turns out that even the most super-macho German gets squeamish around piles of dead human bodies.

        So eventually we'll have to develop an industrialized system. These days' we'll have robots. Someone packs up the soundproof vanishing room. The robots chug for a bit and the people just disappear (other than vitrified blocks that are pushed out the back for disposal). I bet it's self cleaning too!

        You might think I'm being dramatic, and really I too want to believe it couldn't happen here.

        But it's totally happening here.

        We already have gulags and re-education camps. We already kill people when we feel like it. We already distribute wealth from those who are unworthy of having it. Prison guards regularly will just cap an inmate (or braise him in the showers) for the lulz.

        We already have Lebensunwertes Leben overpacked into giant facilities where COVID-19 is let to transmit freely. It's a matter of time.

        But my point is, once we start up the factories, it'll be way too late.

        Maybe it's too late already. I was yelling about it in 2014 during the Furguson Unrest. I was freaking out in 2013 when PRISM was revealed by Snowden. I was freaking out in 2003 when we were torturing POWs in Abu Ghraib. And people kept telling me no, we don't want to do that?

        So at what point do we want to do that? Or are we all going to walk meekly to our place on the cattle trains? How many Americans need to already be dead before the revolution starts to organize? Because the federal government seems keen to deliver.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Aug 2020 @ 2:24am

          Re: Ending very badly indeed

          "with Trump suggesting today that maybe we should delay the 2020 General Election, the Trump Administration is already taking steps towards Ermächtigungsgesetz."

          It's not that bad. It's bad enough, but it isn't - yet - that bad.

          The US is still a far cry from the hopeless morass Germany was in post-WW1. Sure, Trump is rolling out the scapegoating at full speed but he'll need a full-blown reichstagsfeuer with a horde of likely chinese terrorists to blame before he can take the step further and sell the concept of a nation besieged by enemies from without and within. Above all even his own most rabid adherents aren't buying the idea that the US is weak, ailing, and in a crisis deep enough it requires a full abolition of the constitution.

          "Maybe it's too late already. I was yelling about it in 2014 during the Furguson Unrest. I was freaking out in 2013 when PRISM was revealed by Snowden. I was freaking out in 2003 when we were torturing POWs in Abu Ghraib. And people kept telling me no, we don't want to do that?"

          ...but it's not new. That's what you were missing. The US has been that precise sort of inhuman hellhole for the "unworthy" since Hoover and McCarthy. It's a fairly stable emulation of the old roman republic. And the person to emulate Julius Caesar and break it into an empire is unlikely to be Trump who even at his best would feel hard-pressed to reach up to Nero's or Tiberius's bootlaces.

          There are plenty of US practices completely incompatible with basic human rights, many of which you mention above. But it isn't getting that much worse. It just isn't getting any better.

          What Trump is doing is that he paves the way for far worse. He's not the guy who comes up with an endlösung or a people's revolution no matter how much he'd like to be in the seat of empire-building dictator. He's just one more in a long row of very bad political choices eroding the safeguards intended to keep the real monsters from the halls of power.

          And in that specific regard, sadly, Biden is just as harmful. THAT is the real threat here. Crunch time isn't coming this year or next no matter what happens to these specific elections. It'll be three or four presidents further down the line you'll start seeing the real monsters emerging, after the inept decisions of today have had 20 years to undermine the US to the point where it does resemble Germany under Hindenburg.

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    • icon
      ECA (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 2:16pm

      Re: This isn't surprising

      What would be funny...
      Is as a group you DOG PILED those arresting people, or grabbing people into the vans..

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:03pm

    I would say they were closet monsters. However it seems they have long since come out of the closet (I guess to prove children's fears correct?)

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  • icon
    Koby (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:04pm

    If a federal court can't make federal agents play by the Constitutional rules, who can?

    This seems to me to be a separation of powers issue. Courts are ill-equipped to direct law enforcement in the face of a riot. Courts can sort out the aftermath. But the folks giving instructions to the officers are in the executive branch.

    So to answer the question: the voters will get to make the decision, not the courts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      except it already went to court. so unless you are suggesting that the 'new' seperation of power is "no power for the courts", then there's no issue according to your own argument.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      So to answer the question: the voters will get to make the decision,

      If Trump lets them.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:01pm

      Re:

      That's... not how it works, and it would be utterly terrifying if it were.

      'Politician you voted into office sending federal agents to kidnap, brutalize and kill people? The courts can't do squat so suck it up and vote for someone else next election is several years.'

      If courts can't hold federal agents accountable or issue rulings to them then they are essentially a private army of the government, accountable to no-one and answerable only to the person/agency that gave them their orders, and to call that a 'bad thing' would be a monumental understatement.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 10:44pm

      "voters will get to make the decision"

      By doing what?

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  • identicon
    aNON, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:09pm

    but...

    Does the order require superiors to inform their minions about the order? If it does, and they have not, then they are in violation of it. If they do inform them, any violation by a minion is willful. If the order does not include communicating to all minions, then time for an updated order. While they are at it, the updated order should make superiors responsible if they cannot "produce the minion" after a violation.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:27pm

    I do not understand why those who work at ICE, CBP, US Marshals Service, and other federal agencies do not up and quit their stupid jobs when asked to commit crimes.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:31pm

      Because they need money to live.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:39pm

        Re:

        Understand that but .. at some point even that becomes secondary.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 10:50pm

          Survival income becomes a secondary concern

          It never did become a secondary concern in Germany. One hundred thousand Germans served the eradication machine at its fullest. Maybe begrudgingly for some, but they all spent their paychecks. That's not including the troops in Operation Barbarossa.

          Not long ago one of the last guards at Auschwitz was captured and tried.

          If Twitter and other social media informs, we have plenty of little Eichmanns available to do their part to process the enemies of the New America and Keep It Great. Some of them visit right here.

          I'm sure ICE has no problem finding recruits eager to bust heads for a wage and federal benefits.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 6:10am

            Re: Survival income becomes a secondary concern

            "It never did become a secondary concern in Germany."

            Understand the sentiment but there must have been at least one person who said hell no, Im not doing that.

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            • identicon
              Paul B, 31 Jul 2020 @ 6:50am

              Re: Re: Survival income becomes a secondary concern

              Unlike this situation, saying "hell no" in Germany was a good way to get killed.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 12:39pm

              Germans saying "Hell No!"

              Plenty of Germans said Hell no, I'm not doing that. Some, like The White Rose believed in democracy, equality and Christian values and printed and distributed pamphlets on their believes. They were arrested by the Gestapo.

              Some like Claus von Stauffenberg believed in the Thulian destiny of the German People to rule, but felt that purging the underclass went too far. His assassination attempt on Hitler and coincident coup was the last attempt (out of 42 known plots) to kill Hitler. His plan was to establish a less severe administration of Germany and then secure a conditional surrender.

              Von Stauffenberg was quickly executed by a collaborator trying to cover up his own involvement. The principles of the new government were hanged by piano wire, Hitler's favorite way to dispose of enemies who angered him.

              The atrocities of Nazi Germany were far from popular in Germany, and there were plenty of silent reasonable minds. But the less silent ones often found themselves arrested or at least rising up the purge list. (And Germany's mass surveillance system was way primitive compared to the one the NSA has). The worst of the holocaust still had plenty of supporters who believed the rhetoric, though, enough to recruit bureaucrats and troopers plentiful to run the death machine.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Aug 2020 @ 2:42am

              Re: Re: Survival income becomes a secondary concern

              "Understand the sentiment but there must have been at least one person who said hell no, Im not doing that."

              There might have been, but given that in the reich that might actually get you killed it wasn't something the conscientious family man would do publicly.

              There were a few dissident organizations such as "Weisse Rose", but needless to say, such "terrorists" were usually killed.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Aug 2020 @ 2:38am

          Re: Re:

          "Understand that but .. at some point even that becomes secondary."

          Assuming they aren't, from the start, the sort of people who are fine and dandy with being thugs. It's pretty sure from their actions the unidentified and unmarked people in military khaki kidnapping people aren't exactly acting like professional law enforcement so much as they're playing the part of mob legbreakers.

          And the federal agents tear gassing nonviolent protestors and shooting nonviolent journalists (who hold nothing more threatening than a camera) at point-blank range with "less" lethal ammunition aren't exactly demonstrating their adherence to any other sort of professional standard than what you'd expect of a hired thug.

          I'm guessing at this point resigning might be a bad career move simply because your former peers might take that personally and decide you're the next journalist who needs to be shown his place.

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    • icon
      jilocasin (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Perhaps because they enjoy the rush of power that comes from indiscriminately abusing people. Just a thought.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re:

        rush of power ... is this something an insane person experiences?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 3:07pm

          Experiencing the Insanity

          In Trump's case, he has internal dialogues always telling him he is small and not good enough. The reason he's so sensitive to perceived sleights is because a part of his brain (possibly the Dad part) agrees with those criticisms, valid or otherwise.

          This is what drives him to never back down, to want military parades and to send in stormtroopers. He doesn't feel like he's President of the United fucking States of America. Rather he sits in the Resolute Desk at the seat of power of the free world, and he knows he's a loser.

          That is the insanity faced every motherfucking minute by the President of the United States. If he could crush every immigrant, every liberal, every woman he would still feel impotent and beleaguered by vermin.

          I can empathize with this dissonance. I could pity him if he wasn't such a cruel bastard that has brought ruin to the world I know. He's made strides into bringing ruin to a society that was a critical part of my identity and I cannot forgive him for that. But that's my madness, not his. His madness is that it doesn't matter, because he's taken arms against a ghost in his head.

          If only he could get his sense of self to match the with power and responsibility of the office he holds. But he never will, even if he becomes God Emperor of the World, he will sob like Alexander the Great.

          (Once we get him out of office, we'll be happy to vote in another President Psycho who will feel insufficiently powerful and want to despot it up. But that is the slag-filled ruin that remains of our election system and our propaganda-driven national dialogue.)

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      Gonna second the 'because doing so is not considered an objectionable action to those in the agencies' idea, or at the very least 'breaking the law and abusing the public' is considered to be less important than the paycheck.

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    • identicon
      David, 30 Jul 2020 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      I do not understand why those who work at ICE, CBP, US Marshals Service, and other federal agencies do not up and quit their stupid jobs when asked to commit crimes.

      Well, you don't get to see those who did.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:53pm

    Federal officers... claiming to enforce laws... by breaking laws. Do they think they'll still have job come January?

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    • icon
      jilocasin (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      Sure they do. That's why they have taken to removing all insignia from their uniforms and covering their faces with gas masks. If you don't know who they are, you can't hold them responsible for either disregarding a judge's order, or someone's constitutional rights. It's like the KKK all over again.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:05pm

        It’s almost as if some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Follow the money. These guys traveled to Portland, are likely staying in hotels/motels, and are likely listing those expenses for reimbursement. One thing governments tend to do is keep records. Sometimes they do it well, other times they try like hell to hide them. But travel vouchers or credit cards are difficult to hide. The issue will be getting someone to investigate the matter as it is likely that the DoJ won't do it, and the local police don't have jurisdiction to enforce Federal law. So who else?

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:05pm

    Who love english, American version??

    "In response to unfettered liberalism"

    Is there any definition of this??
    Besides.,.
    "we are right, you are wrong"

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  • identicon
    Steve, 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:32pm

    Surprising

    I am very, very surprised these protests are not turning extremely violent.

    There are only so many instances where the government can say "Go F#%k Yourself" before a civilian says "No, F#%k You", then retaliates with "more than lethal" force.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 4:24pm

      'Start shooting so we can declare martial law damnit!'

      At this point, with the repeated escalation by the government, it very seems to be a case of '... haven't turned extremely violent, but not for lack of trying on the government's part'.

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      • identicon
        Pixelation, 30 Jul 2020 @ 7:13pm

        Re: 'Start shooting so we can declare martial law damnit!'

        Martial law, Trumps wet dream.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 10:54pm

          Martial Law

          It won't be his wet dream for long. Martial law is very expensive, and demoralizing, especially if US troops are being used to garrison US municipal areas like an occupying force.

          And it would affirm for everyone that Trump and the entire Federal Government are the bad guys.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 11:50pm

            'I get all the gains, you get all the losses, win-win.'

            Martial law is very expensive

            For other people, Trump wouldn't be paying a cent and therefore would have no reason to care.

            and demoralizing, especially if US troops are being used to garrison US municipal areas like an occupying force.

            Ah, but that's where the trick comes into play where he's only sending in federal goons to opposition cities/states. Demoralizing them would be a feature, not a bug, and as his supporters have made crystal clear that they only care about stuff that impacts them something that not only doesn't negatively impact them but also sticks it to those they hate would be the exact opposite of 'demoralizing'.

            And it would affirm for everyone that Trump and the entire Federal Government are the bad guys.

            Not really a need to 'affirm' something everyone already knows. It might budge a few who are somehow still on the fence, but of those that already seem him for the disgusting parasite that he is they already know just how vile he is, and as for those on the other side I have little doubt that he could essentially imprison entire cities by locking them down and arresting anyone who objects and his cultists would be cheering him on the entire time for 'owning the libs' and 'enforcing law and order'.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 12:44am

              Trump has wooed law enforcement and gotten most of the various departments to ally with him (if not swear fealty to him). To declare Martial Law you'll need either a state National Guard or the US Army. Even our militarized police forces are not set up for locking down an entire district. Nor are they trained for it (as was demonstrated in Ferguson, 2014).

              A state National Guard serving to keep peace in the state operates under the governor of the state. If the governor deploys the Oregon National Guard in Portland, the Governor decides for how long, and whether they corral the protestors or serve them hot meals (which is a thing, if civilians are hungry).

              Now yes, the President of the United States can deploy a National Guard unit as an Army reserve unit. But that makes it US Army, which means it cannot legally deploy in Portland (unless the Oregon secedes from the Union). It can deploy in federal land (such as a federal wildlife reserve). The courthouse counts (I think?) but if the Mayor Wheeler or Governor of Governor Brown want to be catty they can require the US Army stay within the official boundaries of the federal courthouse. It probably includes ten feet of sidewalk / alley on all sides, plus a loading area in back (if it's like a typical metropolitan building).

              But sending in the US Army to garrison an American civilian zone is the sort of thing where morale is going to break in the ranks. Our soldiers are trained they'll be jolly sorry if they refuse to follow orders (legal or otherwise) but they're also trained they'll be held responsible for war crimes they commit. And they go to war school to learn what they can do, which is how our officers are protected from the just following orders defense.

              (As per my regular motto: Counter-recruitment propaganda writes itself these days.)

              Telling them to attack a protest of (non-belligerent) civilians will put them in a pickle which will confuse units, break cohesion and in some cases, cause mutiny. (This isn't a problem unique to the US. The Soviet Army was renowned for misbehaving when sent in to enforce Politburo will.)

              Trump may not care, but the officers in our armed forces do, and will go to extreme, amusing lengths to sidestep illegal orders, much like Mattis did when Trump sent troops to the southern border to repel the attacking refugees. (I think they just put up barricades which the migrants just circumvented.)

              And Trump may not care about the costs of martial law in left-leaning metropolitan areas, but the money for a marital garrison comes out of the DoD budget (what he's been looting already to build his wall).

              I can't promise it will all be okay, but I can suggest it'll be worth making some popcorn. We may see some new ways in which Trump and his administration can be humiliated. In the meantime, Trump will make more enemies among the ranks.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 4:01am

                Re:

                Also, if they send in the national guard,their friends and family are the ones under attack by the Feds. That was the root cause of the fear that Tienanmen square induced in the Chines government, the local troops refused to go against the local populace.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                ECA (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 2:14pm

                Re:

                REMIND
                all of them where their families are..
                remind them that they have a HOME someplace.
                remind them that WE pay their wages and allowances,.
                remind them that when fighting a war, you fight the Opposite warriors...Not the 1000/1 farmers/workers/ranchers/anyone else.
                demand they pick a side, because that job may not be there after all this.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Aug 2020 @ 2:50am

                Re:

                "In the meantime, Trump will make more enemies among the ranks."

                Ranks which, Sad to say, contain a LOT of pro-trumpers.

                It's not too unlikely that the military will split over a decision, if Trump begins giving order under martial law. I honestly wouldn't expect too much. High officers which had any sort of moral high round were culled under GWB then culled further under Trump.

                Expect the ones remaining to be a bit more gung-ho about following whatever order the CiC gives.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    David Longfellow, 30 Jul 2020 @ 2:19pm

    Journalists

    When an actual journalist shows up and reports what is going on in Portland instead of some shill for the Democratic party, I'll be concerned.
    Until then, not so much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DB (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Journalists

      That sounds remarkably as if you, and only you, gets to decide who is qualified to be a "journalist".

      That's not even a half step away from an official news agency. It's a thinly veiled version of "de-certifying" news organization, a common tactic of totalitarian regimes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 11:51pm

      Not my thing but knock yourself out

      Most people I imagine would be hesitant to come out and publicly admit that they're fine with police brutality, blatantly giving the bird to legal orders and attacks on the first amendment, but you do you I suppose.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 30 Jul 2020 @ 2:45pm

    Trump has made it clear he's only sending federal agents into "liberal" cities.

    "It's okay, I'm only sending militarized police against my political opponents! You're perfectly safe as long as you voted for me!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 3:13pm

      Re:

      And you will be alright in the future, so long as you vote for the "right" party.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 30 Jul 2020 @ 3:28pm

        Re: Re:

        And you will be alright in the future, so long as you vote for the "right" party.

        And even that inconvenience will be done for you, in what has already been announced to be planned as the most fraudulent election in the history of the U.S.

        If using mail-in votes can be turned into a partisan issue, guess what kind of ballots will have a particular hard time ending up in ballot boxes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 4:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The courts will straighten that out, though how long it takes will be interesting. The real question is whether Trump will recognize the courts decisions. I am guessing he won't, which is where the dilemma lies. Along with whether the DoJ (for Trump) and the DoD (not certain) and the DHS (leaning toward with but might go against with Congressional support or antipathy, if it is enunciated clearly).

          Either way, the next election will be a severe test of whether or not it is a government of the people, by the people. And the results will be indicative of future Congressional elections. So those wishing to remain in office should take care. They will either get screwed by or endorsed by their commitment to Constitutional law. One hopes they leave party politics aside and go for things that are right, rather than supportive of their re-election.

          The other option is seriously less desirable.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 30 Jul 2020 @ 6:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The courts can't straighten out if mail-in ballots systematically disappear or arrive too late. If you can make mail-in ballots partisan, disappearing/invalidating them does not require looking at them: statistics will take care that the results get tilted in the desired direction.

            So be sure that mail-in ballot problems leading to discounted votes will end up considerably worse in precincts with Republican voting officials.

            Exactly because Trump's pre-election propaganda makes it more likely that a higher ratio of Republicans will lean towards in-person voting.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nop (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 9:43pm

    So, where are the States-Rights zealots?

    So much for their alleged 'principles'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 10:02am

    The courts should know by now...

    ... that if you give any loophole or "good faith exception", they will be abused.

    Let's rewrite this as it should have been written first:

    Because the Court considers any violation of this Order, including any express direction by a supervisor or commander to disregard or violate this Order, to be a violation of a clearly established constitutional right and thus not subject to qualified immunity in any action brought against any individual employee, officer, or agent of the Federal Defendants under Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), notice of this Order must be widely disseminated as ignorance of this Order will not be a valid defense.

    There. No easy loophole anymore.
    So easy, I wonder if the loopholes were intentional.

    And you can't even object that you surprise agents with new rules. These were the rules from the beginning. The Court only was supposed to remind them that they are supposed to uphold the Constitution, which doesn't exempt them from it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 10:47am

    Activist

    First, G. Floyd was not killed by the police. The autopsy clearly shows cause of death by drug overdose and no damage whatsoever to Floyd's breathing tubes.

    Second, journalism is supposed to be an impartial reporting of events. There is no such thing as an activist journalist.

    Astounding nonsense coming from Tech Dirt writers who should know better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 11:01am

      Re: Activist

      First, G. Floyd was not killed by the police. The autopsy clearly shows cause of death by drug overdose and no damage whatsoever to Floyd's breathing tubes.

      So event granting this: it totally makes people non-monsters to be kneeling on the neck of a person dying of drug overdose and complaining that they can not breath. You should definitely do that and not any other silly thoughts that might enter other peoples brains that might let them live a few minutes longer.

      (For those who have not matured into adults that's all the opposite of true. For people worried about poe's '/s')

      Second, as Techdirt as very clearly covered (they even included rational arguments, which I'm sure will shock some people). Absolute impartiality is humanly impossible, and 'the view from nowhere' just leads to insanity.

      Also, I guess since you are critical of Techdirt you are not impartial. you should know better.

      PS: good job constructing an actual argument. However your predicates have been clearly debunked, over and over.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 11:07am

      Re: Activist

      Which autopsy would that be, the one written by police apologists who are in denial over the police being out of control? Both the police autopsy, and the one for the family state asphyxiation as the cause of death.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tim Cushing (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 11:15am

      Re: Activist

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2020 @ 1:30pm

      Re: Activist

      does spewing bullshit get you off?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 31 Jul 2020 @ 7:34pm

      Ah that 'aura of incidental death' that surrounds police...

      So much wrong in so little space, I'll merely point out that even assuming you were right(you're not) it sure is a stunning coincidence that he just so happened to suffer a lethal drug overdose at the exact same time that he was pinned down and choked by a cop...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Aug 2020 @ 2:55am

      Re: Activist

      "First, G. Floyd was not killed by the police. The autopsy clearly shows cause of death by drug overdose and no damage whatsoever to Floyd's breathing tubes."

      Not even the police coroner tried swinging it that way. So you are, as usual about this topic, lying your head off. Again.
      The current situation is that every expert involved agrees that George Floyd died exclusively due to the actions of Chauvin.

      "Second, journalism is supposed to be an impartial reporting of events. There is no such thing as an activist journalist. "

      First of all that's not true. A journalist is just that, no matter their political leaning. Secondly, you've already demonstrated multiple times that the only "impartial" journalist you'd accept is one wearing a MAGA hat.

      "Astounding nonsense coming from Tech Dirt writers who should know better."

      The only nonsense on Techdirt is the way your account is still not banned for promoting outright lies about the way a person was murdered.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greta Dildoberg, 3 Aug 2020 @ 1:05pm

    re: if a federal court can't make federal agents play by the Constitutional rules, who can?

    Maybe call uber-trustworthy Jeff Bezos WaPO.

    Or the ADLs hitman Pierre Omidyar at the Intercept. That worked, once.

    These guysare so non-biased, and trustworthy.

    If they dont answer the phone, try Ukraines (nebulously Israeli related) Oligarchs, who have the Tel Aviv hotline in one hand, and naked ten year old girls in the other, with Hunter Bidens Rolodex squashed between their thighs.

    That will surely solve the problem here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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