Stock photo

Stock photo

Murray, Cantwell propose legislation to block federal law enforcement occupations in cities

Response to recent reports of aggressive policing by agents in Portland

Washington state’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell announced Tuesday that they are co-sponsoring the Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on America’s Streets Act, which would restrict the Trump administration’s ability to conduct federal law enforcement against Americans.

The legislation comes after a week in which heavily armed, unidentified federal forces in unmarked vehicles have been grabbing protesters off the streets in Portland, Oregon, and over the weekend deployed munitions and tear gas against protesters, according to a news release from Murray and Cantwell.

According to local leaders, the federal incursion has inflamed conflict in Portland at a time when there have been efforts to de-escalate friction between protesters and police, and has been opposed by elected officials in Portland and throughout Oregon. The senators also introduced the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate is currently debating.

“The inexplicable violence and aggression we’re seeing from federal law enforcement in Portland right now is completely unacceptable, and the brazen Constitutional rights violations on display should deeply concern every American,” Murray said. “Congress must act immediately to protect our constituents and communities against this aggressive executive overreach, no matter where it occurs.”

“One of Americans’ most fundamental rights is the right to protest, and that means being able to protest without unidentified, militarized federal officers being called. This bill protects our First Amendment rights and the safety of all Americans,” Cantwell said.

Specifically, the legislation would:

• Require individual and agency identification on uniforms of officers and prevent unmarked vehicles from being used in arrests.

• Limit federal agents’ crowd control activities to federal property and its immediate vicinity, unless their presence is specifically requested by both the mayor and governor.

• Require disclosure on an agency website within 24 hours of deployments specifying the number of personnel and purposes of deployment.

• Make arrests in violation of these rules unlawful.

In addition to Murray and Cantwell, as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) who authored the legislation, the bill and the Senate NDAA amendment are also cosponsored by: U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus King (I-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Northwest

Chad Wheeler. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Seahawks
Ex-Seahawk Wheeler accused of attacking girlfriend in Kent apartment

Lineman charged with first-degree domestic violence assault

An AR-15. Courtesy photo
Mags, open carry at protests and AR-15s on Olympia’s agenda

Lawmakers are eyeing a number of bills which could change firearm regulations in the state.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Lawmakers consider prohibiting use of credit score to determine insurance rates

Advocates say credit scoring makes low-income and minority policy holders pay more for coverage.

t
14-year-old victim of Green River killer identified

The remains of Wendy Stephens were found in 1984

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology.
EPA loans King County $96.8 million to prevent untreated water from spilling into Puget Sound

Loan comes a week after an over 10 million gallon overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Courtesy photo
Survey shows rent debt to be disproportionately distributed among minorities

More than half of Black renters surveyed said they owed rent money from previous months.

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)
At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

Most Read