ACLU Comment on Reported DHS Plans to Deploy Federal Forces to Chicago

July 20, 2020 1:15 pm

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CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reportedly crafting plans to deploy roughly 150 federal agents to Chicago this week.

Below is comment from Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, in response:

“In recent days, the Trump Administration has threatened to send unmarked federal forces to Chicago and other cities across the country. Given the documented abuse in Portland by federal forces against the press and those protesting police killing of Black people, it is clear that we are in a fight to save our democracy against a reckless administration bent on terrorizing our communities and endangering lives.

“Make no mistake: Trump’s federal troops will not be a constructive force in Chicago. As our colleagues have seen in Portland, Trump’s secret forces will terrorize communities and create chaos. This is not law and order. This is an assault on the people of this country, and the specific protections of protest and press in the First Amendment.

“The ACLU opposes the deployment of federal forces in Chicago by the Trump Administration. We will hold the Trump Administration and any such federal forces accountable for unconstitutional actions.”

The ACLU of Oregon is currently suing federal agents in Portland, Oregon, to block their unconstitutional attacks on press and legal observers, and in the coming days plans to file additional lawsuits against federal agents in Portland.

The ACLU has filed multiple lawsuits across the country in response to unconstitutional law enforcement attacks on journalists and protesters, including suing President Trump and other administration officials for the firing of tear gas on protesters outside the White House on June 1.

An ACLU blog post on the constitutional crisis in Portland is here: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-sues-federal-agents-portland.

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