On Friday, July 24, Mayor Tim Keller sent a letter to the US Attorney for the District of New Mexico John Anderson requesting that any deployment of Federal forces behave with respect for citizens’ civil rights and operate with transparency. So far, DHS employees in Portland have focused on apprehending peaceful protesters, many of them far from the scene of the protests (out of a professed concern for the officers’ safety). These so-called law enforcers, who wear no official identifiers (again, out of professed concern for the officers’ safety), have pulled people off the street and thrown them into unmarked vans. This is a clear violation of the people’s fourth amendment rights, an example of unreasonable search and seizure.
In his letter, Mayor Keller wrote:
“…President Trump’s statements about the reasons that federal agents will be sent to cities make it clear that he and the Department of Justice may intend for these agents to be involved in policing First Amendment assemblies. The events in Portland have demonstrated the danger of using federal agents who lack training that complies with best practices when responding to First Amendment assemblies.
“The City of Albuquerque does not welcome federal agents making arrests and using force on individuals engaged in First Amendment assemblies.
“The City of Albuquerque does not welcome federal agents hiding their identity and the identity of the agencies for which they work.
“The City of Albuquerque does not welcome federal agents’ use of unmarked vehicles to detain and remove individuals exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Mayor Keller goes on to describe the Court Approved Settlement Agreement in United States v. City of Albuquerque outlining the constitutional policing of crowds to safeguard individuals’ civil and human rights. He then continues with his requests:
“The City asks for your written commitment that any federal agents sent to Albuquerque as part of Operation Legend will not be used to police First Amendment assemblies, nor target people or communities of colors or immigrant families. We ask for your written commitment that these agents will focus on continuing the existing operations based on our partnership and continue to focus on high-level drug offenses, human trafficking offenses, federal crimes against children, and gun crimes.
“We further ask for your written commitment that, whenever detaining or arresting individuals in Albuquerque, all federal agents will conspicuously identify themselves as such, carry and display identification, and wear uniforms that conspicuously identify the agency for which they work.”
Read the whole letter here: https://www.cabq.gov/mayor/documents/letter-hults-_anderson-7_24_20_-operation-relentless-pursuit.pdf