The mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler, has joined protesters in his city's streets demanding federal officers withdraw.
And he got a first-hand taste of what demonstrators have faced every night for weeks.
Video shows a cloud of smoke or tear gas waft over the mayor, who appears to lower his head and cough.
A Reuters reporter on the scene said his eyes were bloodshot, face red, and nose running.
What began more than a month ago as protests against police brutality in this city took a turn after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deployed unidentified and camouflage-clad officers with orders to protect federal property.
Videos surfaced of officers without clear identification badges using force and unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters without explanation.
Mayor Wheeler said the federal crackdown made the situation in his city worse.
"The tactics that are being used by our federal officers are abhorrent.
They do not act with probable cause.
People are not being told who they are being arrested by.
And they're being denied basic constitutional rights." Wheeler's reception at the protests was mixed.
He is also the city's police commissioner, and some demonstrators heckled him, demanding his resignation and chanting “shame on you." Federal agents showed no sign of retreating, regularly going out of the building to throw smoke bombs and tear gas towards protesters.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he planned to send federal police into other large American cities, singling out their Democratic leaders.
"The cities unfortunately that are in trouble are all run by Democrats." Trump has trumpeted a message of law and order heading into the November 3 election.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would not let Trump turn federal police loose on her streets - "The president is trying to divert attention from failed leadership on COVID-19." And accused him of trying to distract from his response to the health crisis.
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