President Donald Trump recently ordered federal agents dressed in riot gear and armed with guns, tear gas, flash grenades, pepper balls and batons to Portland, Oregon, ostensibly to protect federal property from protesters who have waged almost two months of demonstrations for racial justice. Both the agents’ presence and their violent tactics have sparked four significant lawsuits by state officials and by protesters claiming their constitutional rights have been violated, explains University of Oregon Law School scholar Sarah Adams-Schoen.

Those lawsuits provide a preview of the issues cities across the country will grapple with if Trump, as promised, sends armed federal agents to other communities as well, she writes.

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Federal officers using large amounts of tear gas against protesters in Portland, Oregon on July 21. John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

4 lawsuits that challenge Trump’s federal agents in Portland test issues other cities will likely face

Sarah J. Adams-Schoen, University of Oregon

The lawsuits filed in Portland sparked by the presence of federal law enforcement agents sent there by President Trump are a preview of the legal battles to come in cities across the US.

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