Judge cites Trump tweets in restricting feds at protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge found Friday that tweets by President Donald Trump helped incite improper conduct by federal officers responding to racial justice demonstrations in Portland, and directed both sides in a lawsuit to determine “rules of engagement” for officers acting outside a U.S. courthouse.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman granted a preliminary injunction on a First Amendment claim in the case against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security filed by two state lawmakers, the Portland-based Western States Center, a church and a legal observer, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

However, Mosman rejected their claim that the federal officers violated the 10th Amendment’s separation of powers.

He directed the parties to agree on the “contours” of the injunction, asking them to provide him with their best proposals within hours Friday because he wants a deal reached before Election Day, when mass protests are expected.

Mosman suggested the rules of engagement broadly curb any “violent or aggressive law enforcement activity against entirely peaceful protesters” and explore setting a perimeter for enforcement by federal officers outside the downtown Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse.

The judge said the rules might include prohibiting direct tear gassing or pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters and avoiding knocking down nonviolent protesters or chasing those who are separate from violent agitators. He said the officers also must have probable cause to arrest people.

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