Former Acting DHS Deputy Chief Of Staff Lora Ries Responds To Lawlessness In Portland, Other Major Cities

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Many cities across the nation continue to experience a spike in violence as well as lawlessness. Portland, Oregon, is one of the more recent examples where mobs have clashed with law enforcement officers.

“This is some premeditated activity. They’re bringing dangerous weapons each night,” said Lora Ries, former acting deputy chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security. “They’re tearing down the barricades. They’re blocking the exits from the building and they’re trying to start fires in the building, which puts federal officers in and around the building in serious harm.”

Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has recently criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to send federal agents to Portland.

“The experiences that we’re all witnessing here in Portland should be shocking to all Americans” and it is “an attack on our democracy,” he claimed.

Ries, who currently works as a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, disagreed.

“The Federal Protective [Service’s], which is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, mission is to protect federal property, federal buildings,” she said. “They have been in that courthouse since it was erected in 1997.”

Ries further said that “for the mayor of Portland to blame the federal agents and the president is to turn a blind eye to what these anarchists and these rioters night after night after night.” (RELATED: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Escorted From Protest By Security Detail)

“The number one job of any mayor, any governor, of the president, is to protect their citizens,” Ries said. “The mayor is just turning a blind eye to this and deflecting the blame onto federal officers, who are simply trying to do their job, and the president.”

Ries also explained the legality behind Trump’s actions to send in federal agents and discussed two different situations.

She said:

If we’re talking about Portland — and, as I stated before, those federal officers protecting the federal courthouse, that is their job so they are certainly acting with authority there to protect that building —as well as civilians, to call upon other DHS officials who are cross-designated and trained by the Federal Protective Service to help protect that building, that is completely within their mission and their role in the law.

Ries countered: “if we’re talking about Chicago, New York where it’s a number of shootings, that relies on partnerships and a willingness by mayors to have their law enforcement officers work with and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.”

“There seems to be a desire on the left to keep people agitated up through the election in November,” Ries said in response to when she believes the riots might settle down. “These riots, showing up night after night after night, are probably funded by somebody, and the weapons that are supplied and used. There seems to be a concerted effort on the left to keep this going.”

Ries once again honed in on the fact that local leaders must “want to have order in their jurisdictions and to regain control.” She added, “part of the equation is them realizing and seeing what’s really important: protecting people’s lives and regaining control.”