Portland is one of the hotspots for rising tensions between protestors and federal law officers. President Donald Trump has drawn serious criticism from the political leaders in Oregon for being adamant to remove federal officers from the city. But things took an unexpected turn with shocking incidents of protestors being abducted in unmarked vehicles coming to light, which is an escalation from the recent incident where a protestor was shot in the head with rubber bullets. People are calling the officers Trump's own "secret police" deployed to contain the protests in the city streets by any means necessary.
Videos have been shared on social media to show armed officials grabbing protestors off the street in unmarked vehicles. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley also shared the video on Twitter, saying that "authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end."
The U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection's BORTAC officers have been sent to Portland to guard the federal property during the recent protests against racism and police brutality.
Abductees narrate horror in Portland
One Mark Pettibone, a protestor in Portland, along with his friend Conner O'Shea narrated the horror of being grabbed by some of the officials, put in an unmarked van and then taken to an unknown location before being released. Pettibone said he along with friend were heading home when the incident took place.
"I see guys in camo. Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, 'Oh shit. I don't know who you are or what you want with us'," O'Shea told OPB TV.
The duo said they were targeted for wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration although not close to the federal property. O'Shea saw the people in camo jump out of an unmarked vehicle and made a run right before another unmarked van pursued him. O'Shea shot a video to document the horror, but OPB said there was nothing but audio over a black screen.
"Feds are driving around, grabbing people off the streets," O'Shea said on the video, according to the report. "I didn't do anything f****g wrong. I'm recording this. I had to let somebody know that this is what happens."
Pettibone said he was tossed into the van after his face was covered with his own beanie. The people did not identify themselves as they drove around and pulled inside a building.
"It was basically a process of facing many walls and corners as they patted me down and took my picture and rummaged through my belongings," Pettibone said. "One of them said, 'This is a whole lot of nothing.'"
After all this, two officers came to read Pettibone his Miranda rights, that was when he demanded a lawyer. After about 90 minutes, they let him go, but there was no paperwork or citation or even a record of his arrest.
The US Marshals denied arresting Pettibone and said: "All United States Marshals Service arrestees have public records of arrest documenting their charges. Our agency did not arrest or detain Mark James Pettibone," OPB reported.