Portland protesters continue clashes with armed federal agents

Federal agents fired tear gas canisters at Black Lives Matter demonstrators in downtown Portland early Saturday amid growing scrutiny over the use of border patrol officers in the city.

(Woman yelling at federal agents): “You're not protecting anybody. You're shooting at innocent people."

Security forces have frequently tear-gassed and clubbed demonstrators during the unrest. The U.S. Justice Department said it would investigate the use of force by federal agents in Portland.

The investigations follow public anger over the deployment of federal border patrol officers to Portland against the wishes of local officials. Demonstrators, armed with shields and leaf blowers to push back tear gas, have been protesting for racial equality and against police brutality for 57 straight days.

On Friday U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges against 18 Portland protesters ranging from assaulting police to arson and trespassing.

This comes a day after the Trump administration expanded the deployment of tactical police to Seattle in anticipation of protests this weekend over the objections of the Seattle mayor and Washington state governor, who warned of a Portland-like escalation of tensions.

Trump says the agents are there to protect federal property and quell violence.

Demonstrators and local officials see the deployment of the agents in Portland as a ploy by Trump to drum up a "law and order" campaign as he faces an uphill re-election battle.

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