Protesters Arrive at DHS Chief Chad Wolf's House to Demand End to Federal Deployments

Protesters marched to Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf's home in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sunday to demand an end to the deployment of federal officers in response to unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Demonstrators began to gather at an intersection near Wolf's home in Alexandria on Sunday morning at around 10:15 a.m.

Marching under the "Shut Down D.C." banner, they then made their way to the DHS chief's home where activists were pictured gathering outside with signs that read "Resist Trump's Troops" and "No more teargas, no more tearing families apart."

"We know there are no career consequences for these men and women. We know there are no financial consequences for these men and women. We know there are no legal consequences for these men and women. We must make social consequences for these men and women," one protester could be heard saying in video posted to Twitter by journalist Julio Rosas.

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"We must make it uncomfortable for them. We will not be good Germans. We will not be the people who sat by and watched our neighbors commit these atrocities and said nothing because their kids were home," they said.

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It is unclear whether Wolf was home during the time of the protest.

In recent days, Wolf has faced growing scrutiny over his role in overseeing the deployment of federal law enforcement to Portland, where officers have clashed with demonstrators for weeks.

Images of officers using teargas against demonstrators and bundling protesters into unmarked cars, as well as a recent incident which saw a protester left seriously injured after being shot in the head with impact munitions, have sparked widespread outrage, with local and state officials in Oregon calling on the Trump administration to pull its troops out of Portland.

Wolf has rejected those calls, however, asserting that the Trump administration will continue to have federal officers on the ground as long as the vandalism and destruction of federal property continues to persist.

Unrest broke out across the city in late May after Floyd's death, which saw the 46-year-old black man killed after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest over a $20 counterfeit note.

Protests have also rocked other cities across the country, with President Donald Trump vowing to deploy federal officers to cities like Chicago and elsewhere to intervene, if deemed necessary.

In addition to calling for the federal government to pull its troops out of Portland, Shut Down D.C. protesters also called for the DHS to stop using questionable law enforcement tactics in U.S. border cities.

"The violence happening in Portland has been used by Homeland Security and its member agencies such for decades in El Paso, Anapra, San Ysidro, and other border cities," organizers behind the Shut Down D.C. movement said in a press release shared with Newsweek.

Referring to the arrest of protesters who have been forced into unmarked cars, the press release said: "Federally sanctioned kidnappings are not new, with countless Black and Indigenous community leaders detained and arrested under similar conditions."

Noting that the Trump administration could deploy federal officers to multiple other cities, the press release said: "Portland is the only the first in a flood of forces headed to major cities."

However, activists said they believed the deployments had little to do with "actual law enforcement," but were being carried out to help "the President's campaign for re-election" in the 2020 race.

Newsweek has contacted the DHS, White House and Trump campaign for comment.

Chad Wolf
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks during a press conference on the actions taken by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security agents in Portland during continued protests at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol headquarters on July 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Samuel Corum/Getty
Protesters Arrive at DHS Chief Chad Wolf's House to Demand End to Federal Deployments | U.S.