Federal agents in Bend, Ore., Collided with hundreds of protesters late Wednesday after an hour-long trade-off that erupted after immigrants and customs officials arrested at least two men who the agency said was a “threat to the public.”
City police took to Twitter to tell protesters that federal agents were on their way to the scene and asked for their presence to move to sidewalks or leave the area.
“I have never been so disgusted by my government and so proud of my community,” Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, who participated in the protest, wrote on Twitter.
Just before midnight, federal agents removed the two detained men from the bus and left the scene. The protesters are also spreading, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Cureton.
“It looks like the federal agents have left the area,”
The suspension began Wednesday afternoon after officials reportedly detained the men.
The Bend police said they had become aware that ICE agents were in town for an investigation but did not receive any information, the department said in a statement.
“The Bend Police are not involved in ICE operations,” the statement said. “We do not use funds or personnel or equipment to enforce federal immigration laws or to detain people based on immigration status … We are on the scene to allow freedom of speech and a peaceful area to come together and to provide life security support.”
Protest organizers asked participants not to vandalize the buses, according to Cureton. After a person wrote on a bus, another person cleaned it and a speaker told protesters to “take a knee” when federal agents arrive instead of leaving.
Cureton reported that federal agents used pepper spray at least once. There were no reports of violence.
“Law enforcement in Bend, Oregon is part of U.S. immigration and the Customs Administration’s mission to apprehend criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety and remove them from the streets,” said a statement serving as DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cucinelli on Twitter read. “The two people arrested each had a history of criminal violent behavior.”
“While the ICE respects the rights of the people to express their views peacefully, it does not include any illegal interference in their federal legislative duties,” it said. “ICE will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its officers and prisoners and will vigorously prosecute anyone who harms them.”
ICE, DOJ NOTICE OF CONDITIONS FOR FLOOR PLANT RUNNING EXPLAINED TO 2019 MISSISSIPPI IMMIGRATION RAID
Bend Mayor Sally Russell wrote on Twitter that she had been told that both imprisoned men had signed for their arrest and that it was not a “sweep for undocumented immigrants.”
She added that she does not support ICE. “I am very concerned for everyone in our society, and especially our Latinx community,” Rusell wrote. “ICE is a federal agency and frustratingly we have no power over our country’s branch.”
Recently sworn in Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said at a news conference earlier that local police were there just to protect protesters and did not help ICE. Police went back when federal agents arrived.
“We want to ensure that members present are safe,” the department said in a statement Wednesday night, advising that federal agents were on their way to the area to disperse the crowd. “Please move to sidewalks or leave the area.”
Central Oregon Peacekeeping President Luke Richter told KTVZ earlier that they would stay until they saw the arrest warrants.
“If they are going to take people from a shrine, they have to have proper documentation of it,” he said. “We have not seen any warrants for their arrest.”
CLICK HERE TO GET FOX NEWS APP
Those who know the prisoners said that the men have lived there for several years, according to KTVZ-TV.