The prosecutor prepared to arrest federal agents

CityLab Daily

Cities vs. Trump: Reports of unidentified federal law-enforcement officers in unmarked vans beating and detaining protesters in Portland have drawn comparisons to tactics used by dictators and authoritarian regimesPortland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the situation a "direct threat to our democracy"; and an official from the ACLU said it's been an "unconstitutional nightmare." On Friday, Oregon sued the Trump administration, saying the civil rights of its citizens had been violated. 

But neither the criticism nor the lawsuit has cowed the president, who said this week he might send federal officers to quell protests in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Milwaukee — all places with Democratic mayors. In response, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner took perhaps the most aggressive public position among city leaders pushing back against Trump: He said he would not hesitate to file criminal charges against any federal officer who "unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people." If it comes to that, a clash between local and federal law enforcement over how to manage protesters in Philadelphia would be unprecedented.

In an interview with CityLab's Brentin Mock, Krasner — known for his aggressive pursuit of police reform — says the "neo-fascist" action in Portland appears criminal and would be grounds for prosecution if used in Philadelphia. He adds that it wouldn't be the first time local authorities arrested federal agents for committing crimes, and describes how that process could work in the current situation. Today on CityLab: Philadelphia's Top Prosecutor is Prepared to Arrest Federal Agents

-Alex Wittenberg

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The Battle for Public Space Plays Out in Trump's Backyard
The fence Trump built around the White House was the exclamation point on a week of military occupation in D.C. But the streets around it have a different message.
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