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.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed a police accountability bill into law on Thursday, banning chokeholds like what was used on George Floyd in Minneapolis this May.
Why it matters: The legislation, which passed after nearly two months of negotiations and nationwide protests, comes as cities, states and police departments across the U.S. have reformed law enforcement tactics and scaled back excessive use of force on civilians following Floyd's death.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Thursday his office will launch an investigation into federal agents' "use of force" in Portland and the clearing of peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., including the use of chemical agents.
Why it matters: Demonstrations in Portland against police use of force have continued in the city for more than 50 days. President Trump has threatened to send federal law enforcement into other cities run by Democrats.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) was tear gassed by federal agents outside the city's federal courthouse on Wednesday night during another night of mass protests, AP reports.
Why it matters: Wheeler denounced the actions of federal agents, whose presence he opposes, as an "egregious overreaction" and an ineffective strategy for de-escalating the more than 50 days of protests that have ensued since the death of George Floyd. But Wheeler was mocked by some protesters who were infuriated by the city police's own use of tear gas against the early demonstrations.
Protests persisted in Portland, Oregon Tuesday night as federal law enforcement officers in camouflage again discharged tear gas in response to ongoing civil unrest following the May 25 death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
Why it matters: While most of the U.S. has seen a slowdown in demonstrations after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, Portland has shown continued momentum for the cause.
The big picture: The ramp-up came hours after President Trump threatened to send federal law enforcement into other cities run by Democrats. Demonstrations against excessive use of police force sparked by the killing of George Floyd while in police custody have overall been peaceful in cities around the country.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) defended the use of federal law enforcement officers in Portland and compared violent protesters in the city to the "anarchists and insurrectionists" who seceded from the Union in the prelude to the Civil War.
The big picture: Cotton's comments comes after President Trump told reporters on Monday the administration would send more federal law enforcement into cities run by Democrats. The Arkansas senator previously sparked a controversy by calling for Trump in a New York Times op-ed to "send in the troops" to quell violent protests.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced on Monday that she has charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with felony unlawful use of a weapon after the couple pulled guns on anti-racism protesters outside of their mansion.
The big picture: Photos of the McCloskeys, both personal injury attorneys in their 60s, went viral last month and have stirred a fiery partisan debate on social media. Missouri's Republican Gov. Mike Parson told Fox News Monday "without a doubt" he would pardon the couple and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has called on the Justice Department to open a civil rights investigation into Gardner.
With the deaths of Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees John Lewis and Cordy Tindell "C.T." Vivian on Friday following the death of honoree Joseph E. Lowery in March, the world has lost three vanguard leaders who conceived and led a revolutionary movement that changed the U.S. forever.
Why it matters: As fewer of these men remain to tell the story of how they engineered the civil rights movement, it's important to remember the economic and strategic vision that fueled it.
The chairs of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees on Sunday called on the inspectors general of the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to open an investigation into the Trump administration's use of federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon.
Why it matters: The House Democrats say the agencies "appear to have increasingly abused emergency authorities to justify the use of force against Americans exercising their right to peaceful assembly," pointing to reports of unidentified federal agents arbitrarily detaining protesters in unmarked vans.