The use of unidentified federal officers in unmarked cars to snatch people off the street in Portland, Oregon, is completely wrong and worrisome. It's something that should concern us all.

If federal agents are allowed to do this in Portland, what's to stop them from coming to Texas and similarly detaining people without identifying themselves, without the approval or cooperation of local authority, and without oversight?

This is blatantly unconstitutional and while today those targeted are citizens protesting for police reform, tomorrow it could be anyone who runs afoul of the government in power — whether the cause be a left- or right-wing issue.

Christopher Smith

Galveston

Locations

Recommended for you

(52) comments

Charles Douglas

You don't have to beat old women with 2x4(s) or Punch the elderly on walkers making it down the side walk upside the head with a closed fist to protest nor advocate for police reform,,,sir! They told me I was born on a Tuesday night at 3am but that was NOT LAST NIGHT!

Carlos Ponce

"The use of unidentified federal officers in unmarked cars to snatch people off the street in Portland, Oregon, is completely wrong and worrisome." Yes it is worrisome but the problem is they're probably not federal officers. The assigned officers in Portland include BORTAC (Border Patrol Tactical Unit) and US Marshalls. While both use camouflage uniforms they are clearly marked. Why? Other groups like drug cartels at the border also wear camouflage uniforms. The POLICE insignia on front and back and the arm patches indicate they are the good guys. There are also other markings the bad guys cannot duplicate. If a person in such attire take "people off the street in Portland, Oregon" and the uniform was not marked chances are they're not Feds. Anyone can buy such an outfit off the internet but without the identification.

As for using unmarked vehicles that is possible. After seeing marked vehicles destroyed by hoodlums it would be disastrous to take one to a riot.

These are not "peaceful protestors". They carry high power lasers and have blinded three officers. They're trying to set fire to Federal buildings. They're organized, attacking officers. Dozens of officers have been hospitalized. One had his eye socket crushed by a projectile.

Christopher, do you have a green camo outfit in your closet?

Don Schlessinger

Maybe he only watches CNN,

domenico nuckols

It is legal for President Trump to protect Federal property and that’s it. It is up to the Governor of a state to ASK for federal help. We are gradually crossing a line into a police state (Germany 1930’s). All law enforcement personnel should have identification on their uniforms. Vote in November.

Carlos Ponce

"All law enforcement personnel should have identification on their uniforms." They do. ANYONE can buy a camo uniform. BARTOK and US Marshalls in Portland have POLICE in front and back and sleeve patches. If there was someone in a camo outfit without them then they weren't Feds.

Gary Miller

("The use of unidentified federal officers in unmarked cars to snatch people off the street in Portland, Oregon, is completely wrong and worrisome) Bad yes but only if you believe this Democrat Media lie. It hasn't actually happened and isn't likely to happen. IT's more likely that videos looking like it were staged by the DM for story.

Robert Braeking

Federal agents can arrest anyone at any time anywhere on federal charges and they don't need the permission of anyone to do so. The criminal element fears being caught by the feds. Their presence in Portlandia is for the protection of federal government property and personnel. The notion that they are becoming a 'police state' is ridiculous. If the same kind of anarchy as is happening in Portland were to come to a small town in south Texas, there would be no need for federal agents or the national guard. What would Mr Nuckols do if the anarchist came for his property and the local police were told to stand down?

Claudia Burnam

Mr. Braeking, they never think that far ahead. If indeed they ever think at all. E G Wiley

domenico nuckols

Law enforcement should be left up to state and local agencies. Federal agents should not go outside of federal properties unless requested by state or local governments period! The mayor of Portland said yesterday said the protests were dying down until the federal agents showed up. The residents of Portland see it as a federal occupation. Vote in November in person. I’m still waiting for my mail in ballot for the primary.

Carlos Ponce

Vote for whomever you want, domenico but if you believe that the Feds acted illegally then you've been duped. No matter, when they announce the winner of the Presidential election it will be TRUMP- PENCE.

domenico nuckols

Wake up Carlos Trump is jailing his enemies. Just ask Michael Cohen. He did nothing but exercise his first amendment right to free speech.

Carlos Ponce

Sad thing is domrnico actually believes what he wrote. How misguided![sad]

Robert Braeking

Well, Mr. Nuckols, Portland mayor lied. Go figure.

Bailey Jones

It is worrisome, but I doubt that it's unconstitutional. As I understand it, this has been going on for decades. The difference now, of course, is that it has little to do with law enforcement, and everything to do with Trump's reelection. Our president, #worstpresidentever, falsely believes that strength equals greatness. He reminds me of a certain Houston lawyer, the "Texas Hammer". Trump has exactly one trick in his bag - and that's playing the bully. As the saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I look forward to the end of our national embarrassment, and the restoration of public faith in our institutions.

Carlos Ponce

" The difference now, of course, is that it has little to do with law enforcement, and everything to do with Trump's reelection" . That is an affront to the Federal police, Bailey.

Bailey Jones

No, Carlos, it's an affront to their boss. The "Federal police" are just "following orders".

Carlos Ponce

Following orders? Their orders are to protect Federal property within the guidelines of the Constitution and laws of the United States. You are getting this excrement from Liberal pundits. Bailey needs to go and apologize to these fine men and women who are upholding the law.

Bailey Jones

I can't tell if your comment is pretend outrage or genuine devotion to the new Trump police state. I'm guessing the latter.

Robert Braeking

Mr. Jones. Perhaps you should read 40 USC 1315. It is written to comply with public law 107-296 enacted in 2002.

Bailey Jones

Robert, I'm familiar with 40 USC 1315, and the Patriot Act, and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. As I said, I don't think these actions are unconstitutional. I think they are political theater.

Carlos Ponce

"I think they are political theater." So following the law is political theater says Bailey.[rolleyes]

Gary Scoggin

It's not an affront, Carlos. That's snowflake thinking. It's obviously a political move but as a Trump acolyte I can see how you'd be too embarassed to believe that.

Carlos Ponce

Gary Scoggin, so following the tenets of the law pertaining to Federal property is a political move?

So then protecting Fort Sumter after being attacked by the South Carolina militia was just a political move?

Gary Scoggin

It is proper to protect the Federal Courthouse. Doing it like it was done was political, yes. The President’s rhetoric around it was political, yes. He’s intentionally adding fuel to the fire as a move to bolster his campaign. That’s apparent to all but the MAGAs.

Carlos Ponce

That’s apparent to all Liberal Trump haters.

Gary Scoggin

"Liberal Trump haters" is MAGA-speak for someone they don't agree with. Like their leader, they have no concept of nuance, only fealty.

Carlos Ponce

Presented like a Liberal Trump hater - Gary Scoggin.

Dan Freeman

H’mm I remember the Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed thugs for about a month. They Feds waited them out until Lavoy Finicum made a run for it along with several others. He was shot after he tried to pull his 9mm Ruger SR9 on Federal officers.

Altogether 27 militants were indicted for criminal conspiracy and served time. Twelve pleaded guilty. The defense argued the federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction over federal land in Oregon.

Subsequently an FBI investigation found arms, and explosive in the refuge. They reported significant damage to federal buildings and tribal artifacts. Cost of the occupation was at least $3 million. The headquarters remained closed for six months. All criminal and civil charges against federal agents were dismissed.

In July 2018, President Trump pardoned the two ranchers that remained in jail.

Carlos Ponce

In 2012 the two ranchers, Dwight Hammond (76) and Steven Hammond (49) were sentenced to a year and a day's imprisonment, which both men served. In 2015, the sentences were vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which then remanded re-sentencing. In October 2015, a judge re-sentenced the Hammonds to five years in prison (with credit for time served), ordering that they return to prison on January 4, 2016.

So they were sentenced, served their time then re-sentenced by the 9th Circuit. Does that sound fair?

Mike Zeller

Carlos Ponce just can't admit his cult leader Pardoned these guys. Dan

Mike Zeller

Dan [thumbup]

Jim Forsythe

July 10, 2018--President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned father-and-son cattle ranchers serving prison time for arson, a case that helped inspire the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in 2016.

Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven, were convicted of starting two fires in 2001 and 2006 that damaged federal lands.

Carlos Ponce

Mike, the men served their sentence then were re-sentenced with longer prison time from the 9th Circus. Apparently you think that is fair. I do not.

Bailey Jones

The only thing more fun than a circus is 9 of them. Wow.

Carlos Ponce

"But if the original sentence was legal, it cannot be modified in a way that increases punishment. That would be a violation of double jeopardy principles."

www.lawyer.com

Carlos Ponce

Jim, the men were found guilty, sentenced, served their time, released and were later re-sentenced for a longer period of time. That's double jeopardy. But while that was being argued in court, the men were still in prison.

"Can A Defendant End Up With a Greater Sentence? - ...if the original sentence was legal, it cannot be modified in a way that increases punishment. That would be a violation of double jeopardy principles."

https://www.lawyers.com

Jim Forsythe

Double jeopardy is not when a court vacates the original sentence because the sentence was not “in compliance with the law". This is why they were resentenced because of the unlawful first sentences, and the court ordered that the Hammonds be resentenced “in compliance with the law. Not Double Jeopardy.

"By law, arson on federal land carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. When the Hammonds were originally sentenced, they argued that the five-year mandatory minimum terms were unconstitutional and the trial court agreed and imposed sentences well below what the law required based upon the jury’s verdicts. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, upheld the federal law, reasoning that “given the seriousness of arson, a five-year sentence is not grossly disproportionate to the offense.” The court vacated the original, unlawful sentences and ordered that the Hammonds be resentenced “in compliance with the law.” In March 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the Hammonds’ petitions for certiorari. Chief Judge Aiken imposed five year prison terms on each of the Hammonds, with credit for time they already served."

Carlos Ponce

The original sentence was lawful.

Gary Scoggin

Obviously SCOTUS didn’t think so. But they are not as well versed in these things as Carlos.

Mike Zeller

The guy that makes your Kool-Aid, pardoned these guys, period. You can deflect, go off on some wild tangent or dance naked in the street, it doesn't matter. Your leader has a track record of pardoning or commuting convicted felons. [censored]

Carlos Ponce

Have you checked the felons Obama and Clinton pardoned?

Obama commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera. Lopez Rivera was a leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. Lopez-Rivera was serving a 70-year sentence when Obama set him free.

Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning (AKA Chelsea), who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks.

Bill Clinton commuted the sentence of Susan Rosenberg who had worked with the domestic terror group known as the Weather Underground, or WUO.

The list goes on and on of questionable pardons by Obama and Clinton.

The two mentioned pardoned by Trump had served their sentences, were released but then had to return to prison because the 9th Circus exerted their Leftist views. Eventually their case of double jeopardy would release them but in the meantime they sat in prison.It was a miscarriage of justice - except Trump haters.

Jim Forsythe

A vacated judgment is not double jeopardy! .In the eyes of the law it means that no trial had taken place.

"Relief from judgment" of a United States District Court is governed by Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The United States Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit noted that a vacated judgment "place[s] the parties in the position of no trial having taken place at all; thus a vacated judgment is of no further force or effect.

Once the vacated judgment in the Hammond's case was in place, a new trail could happen.

"But those sentences fell short of five-year minimums for arson committed against federal property. Prosecutors appealed, and the Hammonds were ordered to serve the full five-year terms."

Carlos Ponce

The original sentence was legal.

Gary Scoggin

Says Chief Justice Ponce. Too bad your other SCOTUS brethren didn't agree.

Jim Forsythe

It was a vacated judgment, so the trial started over. The new trial had nothing to do with the first, as they were two different trials.

As the judgment was vacated because they had not imposed the five-year minimums for arson committed against federal property. Once the judgment was vacated, they were free to impose the amount of time they did.

Since the first trial did not impose the minimum sentence, it was not lawful. The easiest way to fix it was to vacate the judgment.

Carlos Ponce

"The new trial had nothing to do with the first, as they were two different trials." Now you're making things up.

Carlos Ponce

"Too bad your other SCOTUS brethren didn't agree." Given time that second sentence would have been overturned. Is it worth being imprisoned a second time for the same offense? No.

Jim Forsythe

It was a vacated judgmen!

David Hardee

For all this banter of right or wrong the facts are:

The activities are unlawful to anyone with common sense, anywhere -period. So stop it. Then we will conclude whether it was stopped by the right authority and in the right way, Jurisdiction be damned, get it done. That is what President Trump is wanting to do.

Ted Gillis

Ha! 9th Circus.

And if they just still wore those powered wigs.

Carlos Ponce

Is that a spelling error, Ted? Judges in Great Britain, Australia, etc wear powdered wigs. Are powered wigs powered by battery or are they solar?

Ted Gillis

My gosh, I can't even rely on spellcheck to help me out.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.