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Watchdog to review conduct of federal agents in Portland, Washington DC

Watchdog to review conduct of federal agents in Portland, Washington DC
Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 23, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department inspector general says his team will conduct a review of the conduct of federal agents who responded to unrest in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced the probe in a statement Thursday afternoon, saying his office will coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security.

The watchdog investigation will examine use-of-force allegations in Portland, where the city’s top federal prosecutor and mayor have publicly complained.

In Washington, investigators will look at the training and instruction provided to the federal agents who responded to protest activity at Lafayette Square, near the White House.

Among the questions being studied are whether the agents followed Justice Department guidelines, including on identification requirements and in the deployment of chemical agents and use of force.

“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,” wrote Horowitz.

The investigation is in response to requests from congressional Democrats and complaints from the public since the agents were sent to Portland, Horowitz said in his statement.