November 17, 2011
Demotix has posted photos showing that the Department of Homeland Security now operates as a secret police force that arrests people at political events, the hallmark of all totalitarian governments.
The Federal Protective Service (FPS) arrested a photographer at Portland’s Terry Shrunk Plaza, which is adjacent to both City Hall and the Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Building.
The Department of Homeland Security describes the FPS as “a federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services to federally owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties and other assets.”
The location of Portland’s Terry Shrunk Plaza accounts for why FPS officers may have participated in the arrests, since the jurisdiction of the plaza is shared by both local and federal authorities, according to Rick Ellis, writing for the Examiner.
“FPS is working with the Portland Police Bureau to enforce the prohibition of overnight encampments at Schrunk Plaza, while protecting the safety and security of all involved,” said Chris Ortman, an agency spokesman, at the time of the photographer’s arrest.
Under Posse Comitatus, it is illegal for the federal government to collaborate with local law enforcement in the arrest of citizens.
Jurisdiction of Schrunk Plaza is shared jointly by the federal government, the city and the state of Oregon, The Oregonian explains.
Both the Portland Police Department and the Federal Protective Service have not responded to a request for more information on the arrest.
It was reported earlier in the week by a Justice Department official that local law enforcement has plotted its response to the OWS movement in coordination with the DHS, the FBI and other federal police agencies.