PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Donald Trump says he may send more federal law enforcement to several U.S. cities amid protests. Philadelphia is on the president’s list.
The playbook established in Portland, Oregon, where federal agents have been dispatched to quell protests around the federal courthouse, may soon be coming to Philadelphia.
“The police are afraid to do anything,” Trump said. “They’re restricted from doing anything. They can’t do anything.”
On Monday, President Trump said he may send federal agents to Philadelphia and to other cities, like Chicago and Baltimore, where he says protesters and anarchists are “out of control.”
“I’m going to do something, that I can tell you. We’re not going to let New York, Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these — Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country. All run by liberal Democrats,” Trump said.
The announcement reverberated through City Hall, surprising officials in a city where protests have been peaceful in recent weeks.
Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted, saying he would “use all available means to resist such an abuse of power.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw was seemingly caught off-guard about the news.
“I have not heard anything like that. Actually, the first time I heard about the potential of resources being sent here was based off an inquiry by media,” Outlaw said.
In Portland, federal agents have been on the ground for the past three nights, their presence spawning clashes and additional protests.
“Portland, they’ve done a fantastic job. They’ve been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time. No problem, they grab them, lot of people in jail. They’re leaders. These are anarchists. These are not protesters,” Trump said.
In a statement, Mayor Kenney writes, in part:
“The president’s threat is wrong on many levels. To send federal agents to police U.S. cities that have not requested such aid can only impede the work of local governments and exacerbate already heightened tensions in these cities,” Kenney said.
District Attorney Larry Krasner also fired back at Trump.
“My dad volunteered and served in World War II to fight fascism, like most of my uncles, so we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights and trying to make America a better place, which is what patriots do,” Krasner said in a statement. “Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office. At trial, they will face a Philadelphia jury. It’s the least we can do to honor those who fought fascism, including those who are fighting it even now.”
There is no word on when federal agents could arrive in Philadelphia.