ACLU Comment on DHS Compiling “Intelligence Reports” on Journalists

July 31, 2020 3:15 pm

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NEW YORK — The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” on journalists covering protests in Portland, Oregon. Chad Wolf, acting homeland security secretary, ordered the office to stop collecting this information and announced an investigation upon the publication of leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland.

Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, had the following comment:

“Acting Secretary Wolf’s claims that he’s stopped this specific abuse simply won’t cut it. Under Wolf’s leadership, DHS was caught just last year unconstitutionally targeting and building dossiers on journalists reporting on conditions at the border. For weeks, DHS agents have been deliberately and brutally attacking journalists covering the Portland protests. And, documents show that DHS intelligence arm appears to be claiming authority it does not have. This administration’s assault on the First Amendment continues to escalate. It must be held accountable.”

This comes at the heels of weeks-long protests and attacks on protesters, journalists, legal observers, and medics in Portland. The ACLU of Oregon has filed multiple lawsuits to hold federal and local law enforcement accountable for these brutal attacks. The ACLU of Oregon also secured a restraining order blocking federal agents from attacking or dispersing journalists and legal observers, and is seeking a court order to hold in contempt and sanction federal agents for violating the restraining order.

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