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Federal police in Portland on July 23. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Federal police arrested 18 people in Portland, Oregon, this week during protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams announced Friday.

Why it matters: President Trump sent U.S. officers to Portland earlier this month in response to protests that followed the death of George Floyd in May. Officials have denounced the administration's use of federal agents to pull protesters into unmarked vehicles.

Details: These cases are being jointly investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service, and are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

What they're saying: The protesters who've been arrested face federal charges including assaulting federal officers, arson and damaging federal property, Williams' office said.

  • Earlier this week, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf pushed back against criticism of federal agents' conduct during protests in Portland, saying, "We have been forced because of local law enforcement presence to take measures such as arrests to protect our officials."
  • "We will not retreat. We will continue to take the appropriate action to protect our facilities and our law enforcement officers," Wolf added.

The big picture: Trump this week threatened to send federal law enforcement to other cities with Democratic governors, including New York City and Chicago.

Go deeper: Trump bends DHS to his will

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Omar criticizes fellow House Democrats on police brutality, despite sweeping reform bill

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) told "Axios on HBO" that House Democrats' failure to pass a resolution condemning police brutality that she co-sponsored earlier this year is an indication of her colleagues' inability to meet the moment following the death of George Floyd.

Yes, but: Every House Democrat did vote in June to pass legislation that would have constituted the most drastic overhaul of federal policing laws in decades.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.