Oakland, Portland sue over use of federal agents at protests

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Federal officers response to Portland protests (Photo: ZUMA/MGN Online)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) — The cities of Oakland and Portland, Oregon have sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, alleging that the agencies are overstepping constitutional limits in their use of federal law enforcement officers to tamp down on protests.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites the deployment of U.S. agents this summer to quell protests and also accuses the U.S. Marshals Service of acting unlawfully by deputizing dozens of local Portland police officers as federal agents despite objections from city officials.

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The federal deputations have meant protesters arrested by local police could face federal charges, which generally carry stiffer penalties.