ACLU Asks to Bring Federal Agents in Portland to Court After Agents Violate Restraining Order

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The ACLU is fighting to hold federal agents in contempt after the agents willingly violated a restraining order in Portland that protects protesters from excessive force.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) helped protect the first amendment rights for journalists, legal observers, and protesters in Portland, Oregon. A federal court granted a temporary restraining order which prohibits federal law enforcement from using extreme force on the ongoing protestors in Portland. Beginning only hours after the restraining order was granted on Thursday, July 23, federal agents began using and have continued to use excessive force on peaceful protesters, including teargassing and abducting protestors in unmarked vehicles.

United States Attorney General William Barr testified before Congress on Tuesday, July 28, and spoke of the violence against protestors in Portland inflicted by federal agents. After refusing to categorize the beating of a Navy veteran from a federal agent as brutality, House Representatives recognized Barr’s selective objections to protests. When Barr stated excessive force is needed during protests, representatives argued how Barr could not be aware of the anti-mask protests in Michigan, where protesters openly carried guns.

The ACLU continues the task of trying to identify each federal agent that has been in violation of the temporary restraining order in Portland. The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, and Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, have been urging the withdrawal of federal troops from downtown Portland. Both Wheeler and Brown have released statements of how the presence of federal agents and their munitions have antagonized peaceful protests in Portland and have led to more violence against civilians.


As the nation’s first organization to advocate fearlessly for civil liberties, the ACLU diligently fights to end police militarization and racist policing systems throughout the country. If you would like to assist the ACLU in their call to Congress to end police brutality that has led to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, click here.