As Unidentified Federal Agents Detain Protesters in Oregon, Pingree Backs Bill Requiring Officers to Clearly Identify Themselves
Washington, July 21, 2020
Following reports of unidentified federal agents pulling protesters into unmarked vans in Portland, Oregon, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced her co-sponsorship of H.R.7153, the Law Enforcement Identification Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Don Beyer (D-Virginia), would immediately require uniformed federal officers policing First Amendment assemblies to visibly display identifying information.
“Only dictatorships have secret police. But under President Trump’s leadership, we have seen horrifying despotic abuses come to the United States. In sending unidentified federal agents into cities to pull protesters into unmarked vans, this President has employed fascist police tactics to undermine our civil liberties. Today I am signing on to the urgently needed Law Enforcement Identification Act to ensure federal officers clearly display their badges, demonstrate accountability, and do not turn our cities into secret police states,” said Pingree.
The Trump Administration has ordered federal officers from numerous agencies to police protest sites in Portland, Oregon and the District of Columbia where many wore no official identification or obscured their identities. Yesterday, President Trump vowed to send additional federal agents to occupy New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland because, he said, these cities have “liberal Democrats” as mayors.
Officers of local police forces who manage peaceful protests are bound by law to display badges and identifying information when policing these First Amendment assemblies. Federal officers’ refusal to adequately identify themselves has left city authorities, protesters, and residents in the dark about the identity of armed officers in their communities, if they were legitimate law enforcement, where they work, who gave them their orders, their use of force guidelines, or whether they were authorized to carry firearms.