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'Kenosha Doesn't Need to See a Repeat of Portland,' Warns ACLU After Trump Orders Federal Agents to Wisconsin

"Sending federal law enforcement to Kenosha will only make matters worse. We don't need more police, we need to end police violence."

Federal officers shine flashlights from inside a closing garage door at the rear entrance to the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 31, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Federal officers shine flashlights from inside a closing garage door at the rear entrance to the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 31, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Progressive critics responded harshly Wednesday after President Donald Trump ordered federal officers to Kenosha, Wisconsin under the pretense of restoring "law and order" in the aftermath of unrest that culminated in an armed right-wing vigilante murdering two Black Lives Matter protesters overnight who were demonstrating in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake earlier this week. 

Mimicking the threat he made last month to deploy 75,000 federal agents into U.S. cities, Trump tweeted that "We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets." 

Critics who pointed out that "officers should not be above the law" took issue with Trump's narrow definition of "law and order" and asked if he would be "holding the officers accountable for shooting Jacob Blake in the back?"

Other critics drew attention to the fact that it is not individuals demonstrating against police brutality who are the source of lethal violence but rather armed white supremacists who have been emboldened by Trump's racist and authoritarian rhetoric, including his late May comment that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Alluding to the widely criticized practices of federal agents deployed to Portland, Oregon earlier this summer, the ACLU stated that "Kenosha doesn't need to see a repeat of Portland, where federal agents wreaked havoc and violently trampled on the constitutional rights of protesters." 

The ACLU of Wisconsin added that "sending federal law enforcement to Kenosha will only make matters worse."

Amnesty International USA also tweeted that "the militarization of policing does not enhance safety, but puts human rights at risk."

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