In Memo, DHS Chief Says Portland Crackdown ‘Going to Be the Norm’

Says DHS agents need training on crackdowns in US cities

Facing mounting lawsuits and complaints from Oregonian officials for the federal crackdown on Portland, Oregon, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting secretary Chad Wolf has issued a memo in which he suggests that this sort of action is “going to be the norm.”

In Portland, Federal law enforcement was deployed without permission from any state or local officials, nominally to protect federal buildings in the area. In practice, those agents are walking around unidentified in camouflage firing tear gas at protesters and extra-judicially capturing suspects off the streets.

Wolf warned in his memo that the agents involved are not specifically trained in curbing mass demonstrations, and suggested the agents will need more training and equipment in the future if that’s what they’re going to be expected to do.

Wolf defended the use of DHS agents in Portland by arguing that the protesters are “anarchists” and that defending the federal buildings required their use. Other DHS officials argued the agents had just enough training to be deployed, and most don’t seem to want to address the idea that this is the new norm.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.