Portland, OR – The federal officers who were deployed to protect the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Portland from the Abolish ICE PDX protesters were subject to racist slurs and threats on a daily basis.
“They have yelled continuously that they hope we die, they hope our families die,” one officer wrote in an email to his supervisor, according to the Oregonian.
Federal Protective Services released emails to the Oregonian that detailed the insults and slurs the non-white officers tolerated during their month-long deployment in front of that building.
One black federal police officer wrote that he had been called the N-word, as well as a “blood traitor” and “Uncle Tom” by the supposedly peaceful demonstrators.
“These racial slurs have been directed at me throughout the entire length of the deployment,” the officer told his supervisor.
Another officer reported having been called a “weak female” and “traitor”, as well as numerous derogatory names for Hispanic people, according to the Oregonian.
She told supervisors that she been forced to withstand hours on end of insults and racial slurs.
“I was berated for so long I can’t even remember everything that was told to me,” the officer wrote.
In another email, an officer told his supervisor that he and other federal agents were “insulted and harassed almost nonstop” by demonstrators, and called murderers, rapists, and Nazis.
But the federal officers protecting the facility weren’t the only people subject to the wrath of protesters.
The occupants of tent city refused to allow ICE employees to patronize the local business where they usually purchased lunch and other items during their workdays.
Julie Hakes, of the Happy Camper Food Cart which is located directly across the street from the ICE building, told Willamette Week that protesters threatened to burn her cart down.
The proceeds from Hakes’ food truck fund a nonprofit she and her husband run that gives supplies and food to the homeless called Operation Off the Grid.
But now they’re shutting down and selling the business because her daughter is terrified to go to work in the food cart, and they haven’t made any money since the protests began in June.
The so-called “peaceful” protesters occupying the tent city were told to vacate the premises by Tuesday evening, the Oregonian reported.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called on protesters to “peacefully disengage.”
Only 12 protesters remained when officers arrived on Wednesday morning to enforce the eviction, according to KATU.
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said that Portland officials determined last week that the tent city had to be dealt with.
“We knew we had to get ahead of it before it spiraled out of control,” Chief Outlaw said during a media availability on July 25, long after the situation had spiraled out of control.
The chief said police had received 76 calls for service to the camp, 41 of which required an officer response, KATU reported.
She said there had been no less than 13 online complaints about the protesters’ behavior and the mess the tent city had created.
Chief Outlaw said the protesters were blocking several roads that were routes to medical facilities, and there had been instances where they had interfered with patients getting immediate care, KATU reported.
Police reported finding needles, feces, and nails, among other things, in what remained of the encampment after the protesters were evicted.
“There’s clearly unsafe conditions in the camp. The longer they persist, the harder it is to clean them up in the end,” the chief said, addressing the fire hazard and biohazard concerns that had been observed.
No arrests were made as the police completed the eviction on Wednesday morning. Some of the departing protesters told reporters they were going to join other protests in other cities.