July 17, 2020: Press reporting that several men in green military fatigues and generic “police” patches sprang out of an unmarked gray minivan in front of Mark Pettibone in the early hours of Wednesday morning, July 15. According to Pettibone: “It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.” Detained, searched, he was asked if he had any weapons – he did not. Taken to the federal courthouse and placed in a holding cell, he was asked to wave his Miranda rights to answer a few questions; he did not. Then, they let him go.
Pettibone’s relatively brief – and illegal – detention was first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, and videos of similar actions by federal officials driving around Portland in unmarked cars have been raising alarm bells for several days. Arrests require probable cause that a federal crime had been committed, that is, specific information indicating that the person likely committed a federal offense, or a fair probability that the person committed a federal offense,” according to Orin Kerr, a professor at University of California at Berkeley Law School, “If the agents are grabbing people because they may have been involved in protests, that’s not probable cause.”
Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security have stormed Portland’s streets for days as part of President Trump’s crackdown on the Left; he wants to portray himself as the new Nixon, the Law and Order candidate in the next election. Local leaders have expressed alarm at news of Pettibone’s detention and echoed calls for the feds to leave. These calls have been strengthened since Marshals Service officers severely wounded a peaceful protester on Saturday.
“A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police,” according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.”
Civil rights advocates suggested the Trump administration is testing the limits of its executive power.
Let us continue to test Trump’s limits of power on the streets of Portland and the rest of America!