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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Feds: Portland ICE Protesters Spewed RACIST Insults

Gordon R. Friedman

Federal officers policing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Portland say they were subjected to a barrage of hateful and at times racially-charged invective during the monthlong demonstration at the facility.

Email records obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive detail some of the insults and taunting that several nonwhite federal officers say they endured. The newsroom is not publishing officers’ names by request of the Federal Protective Services, which cited safety concerns if identities are revealed. The agency did not respond to a request for comment.

Protesters have held a nonstop demonstration at the ICE field office since June 17, decrying the Trump administration policy of separating children and parents detained after border crossings. Demonstrators have called for a swift end to the policy and the abolishment of ICE.

Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Marshall Runkel, chief of staff for Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, on Tuesday confirmed he heard reports from Department of Homeland Security officials and protesters about racially-tinged verbal altercations between officers and protesters. A representative of Abolish ICE PDX, an occupier group led in part by people of color, declined to comment.

In emails obtained by the newsroom, one African American officer reported to an administrator that protesters “began yelling racial slurs” at him, including the N-word. The officer said he was also called a “blood traitor” and an Uncle Tom, a derogatory term implying a black person is acting subservient to whites for money or prestige.

“These racial slurs have been directed at me throughout the entire length of the deployment,” the officer wrote.

Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Another officer, who is a woman of Hispanic and Native American descent, said she was called derogatory terms for Hispanic people and told she is “a weak female” and a “traitor.”

“I was berated for so long I can’t even remember everything that was told to me,” the officer wrote.

An official responded, “I am very sorry for anything that was said to you! You know that I know you are a rockstar!” the emails show.

Mark Graves/The Oregonian

A third officer reported that he and other federal agents had been “insulted and harassed almost nonstop” by demonstrators, and were told they are murderers, rapists and Nazis, the emails show.

“They have yelled continuously that they hope we die, they hope our families die,” the officer wrote.

Mark Graves/The Oregonian

Runkel, Eudaly’s chief of staff, said escalating tensions between police and protesters contributed to a deteriorating security situation and that made him “very concerned” for protesters’ safety.

Mayor Ted Wheeler on Monday implored demonstrators to “peacefully disengage” and leave their camps near the ICE field office. A police notice states protesters have until Tuesday evening to depart.


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