Jul 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cities resist Trump's summer of security

Law enforcement deploys tear gas

Federal law enforcement officers deploy tear gas in Portland. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump has promised to send federal law enforcement agents to Democratic-led cities around the country, moving his strategy beyond Portland, Oregon, and staking his re-election hopes on a law-and-order message even as the coronavirus pandemic surges nationwide.

Why it matters: These liberal cities now find themselves in the topsy-turvy position of having to resist federal government action — threatening recourse via both the courts and law enforcement.

In Portland, the testing ground for the Trump administration's tactics, both state and local officials have taken action. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sought a temporary restraining order in court today to force federal law enforcement agencies to immediately stop their tactics, per the AP.

  • And the city's police commissioner is set to introduce a resolution that would require its officers to stop cooperating with the feds, per OPB.

In Chicago, which will see the next deployment of federal agents, Mayor Lori Lightfoot struck a more conciliatory tone and said the city would do its best to work "collaboratively," per the Chicago Tribune.

  • But she warned: "I don’t put anything past this administration. ... If we need to stop them and use the courts to do so, we are ready to do that."

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio similarly threatened to take Trump to court if federal law enforcement was deployed in the city, Reuters reports.

In Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner compared the tactics in Portland to "fascism" and vowed to take harsh action, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • "Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office."

Go deeper ... DHS chief defends federal agents in Portland: "We will not retreat"

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