To dilute militaristic optics, acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said the remaining federal agents in Portland, Oregon, will transition away from their camouflage uniforms.
Cuccinelli was one of several department officials who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to discuss the federal response to protests that escalated in Portland over the last few months. He wrote in a prepared testimony that DHS law enforcement officers interacting with crowds are identifiable by both their agency and their individual identity.
“They are in their respective uniform, with appropriate insignia — to include the words ‘POLICE’ as well identifying the agency for which they work,” Cuccinelli wrote.
He added that names of agents are no longer displayed due to concerns over doxxing incidents.
“To address concerns about military-like appearance of some of Customs Border Protection’s (CBP) officers’ uniforms, which are the normal uniforms used by some CBP teams in the course of regular duty, we are moving rapidly to replace those uniforms for those personnel,” he wrote.
The Trump administration sent out federal agents to help quell the unrest in Portland and other major U.S. cities, largely at the direction of Chad Wolf, the acting Homeland Security secretary. The decision to send in federal officers as well as frequent clashes between police and protesters were criticized by many, and multiple federal officials were ordered to testify in front of Congress to discuss the action.
While some federal officers exited the Portland area after Gov. Kate Brown signaled that she reached a deal with the Trump administration, over 100 remain in the city to act as a “quick reaction force.”
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