But the exact role of the 175 federal agents that Trump threatened to deploy is unclear. In his remarks Monday, Trump cited spikes in violent crime in New York and Chicago. Oakland, too, has seen a rise in homicides and shootings compared to this time last year, according to the Police Department.
Federal assistance for violent crime investigations is nothing new. The FBI, for example, has long assisted OPD with homicide investigations. But that's a different role than crowd management, and arresting people for vandalism is unlikely to affect murder rates.
California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris was among seven U.S. lawmakers who introduced legislation Monday to curtail some of the federal enforcement tactics seen in Portland.
The legislation, introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, would require federal officers to be clearly identified and limit their crowd control activities to federal property. It would also require public notice within 24 hours when agents are deployed, including the reason for their deployment.
“Donald Trump is ordering unidentified law enforcement to violate Americans’ civil rights,” Harris said in a statement. “These actions are those of an authoritarian regime and do not represent who we are as a nation. I call on my colleagues in the Senate to pass this measure immediately — we are better than this.”