A tense scene unfolds in Bend, Oregon, on Wednesday, involving hundreds of protesters blocking two buses for immigration and customs enforcement while detaining two men, according to reports.
City police went on Twitter to inform protesters that federal agents were on their way to the scene and asked those present to move to sidewalks or leave the area.
Shortly before midnight, federal agents pulled the two detained men off the bus and left the scene, followed by protesters, according to Oregon public relations reporter Emily Curton.
The opposition began Wednesday afternoon after officers reportedly detained the men.
Anne Aurand, a Bend employee, confirmed that ICE officers were in the area, but said the city did not enforce federal immigration laws or detain people based on their immigration status, KTVZ-TV in Bend reported.
Bend police said it was known that ICE agents were in town to investigate, but were not given details, according to a statement posted on Twitter.
“Bend police are not involved in the internal affairs operations,”
Protest organizers have asked participants not to vandalize buses, according to Cureton. After one man wrote on a bus, another man cleaned it up and a spokesman told protesters to “take a knee” when federal agents arrived instead of leaving.
Cureton said federal agents had used pepper spray at least once. No violence was reported.
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Band Mayor Sally Russell wrote on Twitter that she had been told that both detained men had an arrest warrant and that this was not a “review of undocumented immigrants.”
She added that she does not support ICE. “I’m very worried about everyone in our community, and especially our Latinx community,” Russell wrote. “ICE is a federal agency and, disappointingly, we have no power over our country’s executive branch.”
Recently, the sworn police chief in Bend, Mike Kranz, told a news conference that local police were there only to protect protesters and not help the internal combustion engine. Police backed down when federal agents arrived.
“We want to ensure that community members present are safe,” the statement said Wednesday night, advising federal agents to head to the area to disperse the crowd. “Please go to the sidewalks or leave the area.”
Central Oregon Peacekeepers President Luka Richter told KTVZ that they would remain there until they saw the arrest warrants.
“If they are going to take people from the sanctuary, they must have proper documentation. We have not seen any arrest warrants.”
Those who know the detainees said the men had lived there for years, according to KTVZ-TV.
“Law enforcement in Bend, Oregon is part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Mission to arrest criminal aliens posing a danger to public safety and get them off the streets; ICE. The two arrested had a history of criminal violence. “ICE Regional Public Relations Officer Tanya Roman told Fox News.
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“As long as ICE respects people’s rights to express their views calmly, this does not involve unlawful interference in their duties by federal law enforcement agencies. who exposes them to evil. ”