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What Are The Legal Issues Around Police & Federal Agents Using Violence Against Protesters?

Amy Harris/Rex/Shutterstock
Federal agents attempt to clear protesters gathering at the courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing police brutality against protesters and journalists. ProPublica has compiled nearly 70 videos showing police abusing their power. On the first Saturday after George Floyd was killed, The Washington Post reports that from May 28 to June 2, at least 12 people lost vision in one eye after being struck by police munitions.

On Wednesday, The Trump administration announced plans to pull militarized agents out of Portland after weeks of violence. Trump is now threatening to send federal agents to additional cities. What are the legal issues around police brutality?


Gregory McKelvey, vice chair of the Oregon Democratic Black Caucus and board president of Brown Hope, a nonprofit and community solution for racial justice


Emerson Sykes, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project


Web Resources:


Revolt, Gregory McKelvey:America, here’s the truth about Portland’s protests that the mainstream is hiding 

The Guardian, Chris McGreal: Federal officers to pull out of Portland in a major reversal for Trump administration 

The Washington Post, Matthew Tokson: The feds won’t face legal consequences for illegal arrests in Portland

ProPublica: We Are Tracking What Happens to Police After They Use Force on Protestors

The New York Times, Mihir Zaveri:N.Y.P.D.’s Use of Unmarked Van in Arrest Draws Parallels to Portland

ACLU, Emerson Sykes: Know Your Rights While Protesting Police Brutality