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DOJ and Homeland Security open investigations into federal agents in Portland

Sen. Jeff Merkley and other members of Oregon’s congressional delegation sent a letter formally requesting the investigations on Wednesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Justice Department and Homeland Security Offices of Inspector General opened investigations into the conduct of federal officers during protests in Portland. The internal watchdogs launched reviews following complaints from the public and Congress.

“Gassing, assaulting, batoning on the streets of our city. Not here. Not allowed and we will put an end to it,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, on the Senate floor Thursday.

Merkley and other members of Oregon’s congressional delegation sent a letter formally requesting the investigations on Wednesday.

RELATED: Oregon lawmakers call for immediate removal of federal officers from Portland

“The review will include examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other uses of force,” said a statement from the DOJ Office of the Inspector General.

There is no timetable on when the investigations will be completed, according to a DOJ OIG spokesperson.

“We need to know how these abuses of power were allowed to happen and what can be done to stop President Trump and his cronies from deploying more federal law enforcement officers across the country,” U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, said in a statement.

RELATED: Federal officers beat Navy veteran with a baton, pepper-spray and tear-gas a county commissioner at Portland protest

RELATED: US Attorney for Oregon calls for investigation after reports of federal agents in unmarked vans hauling away protesters

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