Oregon governor: Federal officers to begin phased withdrawal from Portland

Oregon governor Federal officers to begin withdrawal from Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that federal officials have agreed to begin withdrawing from the state’s largest city weeks after their controversial arrival amid ongoing demonstrations against racism and police violence.

"After my discussions with (Vice President Mike) Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland," Brown said in a statement posted on social media. "They have acted as an occupying force (and) brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection (and) ICE officers will leave downtown Portland."

Content Continues Below

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said Wednesday that the withdrawal is part of plan that would see “a robust presence of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland.” In a statement released Wednesday, he praised the “valiant efforts of DHS law enforcement officers” who have been “protecting federal property in Portland from violent activity for the past two months.”

"The Department will continue to maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure," Wolf said.

"The Department will continue to re-evaluate our security posture in Portland, and should circumstances on the ground significantly improve due to the influx of state and local law enforcement, we anticipate the ability to change our force posture."

Before departing Wednesday for a trip to Texas, President Donald Trump insisted federal troops would not leave Portland until local authorities “secured their city.”

“Either they’re going to clean up Portland soon or the federal government is going up, and we’re going to do it for them,” he said. “So, either they clean out Portland — the governor and the mayor, who are weak — either they clean out Portland or we’re going in to do it for them.”

Protesters have gathered nightly in Portland for protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police. Demonstrators have consistently targeted the U.S. courthouse in Portland.

Last week, President Donald Trump told reporters that he plans to send federal law enforcement officers to several major U.S. cities in an effort to quell the ongoing protest.

“We’re not going to let this happen in our country,” he said, adding that the problem cities are “all run by liberal Democrats.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.