Washington, D.C.  Below is a statement by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the Trump Administration’s deployment of unrequested federal law enforcement officers to Portland, and plans to expand to additional cities:

“America’s mayors are outraged by and oppose the unrequested deployment of federal law enforcement officers to our cities.  As we have seen in Portland, their presence and their actions have exacerbated a situation that Mayor Ted Wheeler said was calming down and led to increased violence in the streets.  Further it terrorized peaceful demonstrators, some of whom were allegedly rounded up by individuals in military fatigues who did not identify themselves and put into unmarked vehicles, never being told why they were being detained.

“Now we hear that the President plans to expand this invasion to other cities, including some that have seen an increase in gun crimes and homicides.  There are many things the federal government can do to help cities and support local efforts, but sending in federal agents without any coordination with mayors and governors is not among them.

“As Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot told President Trump in a letter yesterday, ‘What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago…. As any law enforcement official will tell you; what is needed more than anything in an operation to protect lives is a clear mission, a detailed operations plan, and a chain of command.’

“Policing is a local and state function.  For the federal government to come uninvited, not coordinate with local or state officials, and arrest their residents without probable cause, is an unprecedented and dangerous threat to our democracy and to the future of our great country.  We call on the President and his Administration to cease and desist this activity.”