Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has joined 15 other mayors demanding that federal forces not be sent to cities and for the removal of officers from Portland, OR
In a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary,Chad Wolf, the mayors said that federal officers are arresting citizens and patrolling streets with no consultation with local police.
The leaders, including those from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington DC, likened the tactics to those of “authoritarian regimes.”
Video of heavily armed men in military fatigues and driving unmarked vehicles caused a firestorm of controversy on social media and among politicians on both sides of the aisle, with many likening the tactics to the Nazi-era Gestapo and Chile dictator Augusto Pinochet’s secret police. The federal officers have used stun grenades and teargas, detained protesters, and encircled federal buildings in Portland as racial injustice demonstrations continue.
The letter states: “Federal officers have not been trained for urban community policing, including critical crowd management and de-escalation techniques. There is no oversight of the actions of federal forces.”
President Donald Trump has also sent federal forces to Chicago and promised to send troops to additional cities.