Skip to Main Content

Protests Against Police Brutality (2020): DHS / DOD / Police

Helps document the federal government’s response to racial justice protests following the police murder of George Floyd


This page includes:

  • Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • U.S. Park Police (USPP)
  • U.S. Secret Service (USSS)

Statements & actions timeline


May 29

CBP statement on the AMO Unmanned Aircraft System in Minneapolis (CBP)

May 30

Secret Service statement on Pennsylvania Avenue demonstrations (USSS)

DHS press briefing on shooting of FPS officers in California (DHS)

May 31

Guard members in 23 states, D.C. called up in response to civil unrest (National Guard)

Secret Service statement on Pennsylvania Avenue demonstrations (USSS)

June 1

Department of Defense officials brief reporters on the Department's response to civil unrest (DOD)

Audio of the US secretary of defense referring to American streets as the “battle space” (via @John_Hudson)

CBP statement on deployment of CBP personnel in Washington, DC (CBP)

Statement of Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan on the deployment of CBP personnel in Washington, DC (CBP)

June 2

Statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the actions taken over the weekend to protect life and property (NPS/USPP)

James Miller, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, resigns from Defense Science Board (via Washington Post)

Statement by Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on support to civil authorities (DOD)

Department of Defense statements on the Department's response to civil unrest (DOD)

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, message to the Joint Force (DOD)

DCNG Commanding General has directed an investigation into the actions of rotary aviation assets, following use of low-flying helicopters with red cross markings (via @DCGuard1802)

Statement of Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan on ensuring peaceful protests (CBP)

June 3

Ohio Army Guard assists during unrest in Cleveland, Columbus (National Guard)

Message to the Department on support to civil authorities (DOD)

Secretary addresses reporters regarding civil unrest (DOD; see also, video)

Secretary says he does not support invoking Insurrection Act (DOD) [no longer available 6/4/20; see archive]

DOD official: National Guard is first choice in response to civil unrest (DOD)

Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (USMC)

Message to the Army Force regarding its continued support to civil authorities (Army)

CNO message to sailors (Navy)

Commentary: unrest in America (Air Force)

US Park Police announce two officers have been assigned to "administrative duties" pending outcome of investigation into assault on an Australian news crew (NPS/USPP)

June 4

Update: Statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the actions taken over the weekend to protect life and property (NPS/USPP)

June 5

Secret Service did not use tear gas in Lafayette Park (USSS)

Secret Service statement on closures around the White House (USSS)

Leaked document reveals details of federal law enforcement patrolling Washington amid protests (via Yahoo News)

June 5 statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the actions taken over the weekend to protect life and property (NPS/USPP)

More than 4,000 Guard members on duty in DC (National Guard)

June 7

National Guardsmen Returning Home After D.C. Mission (DOD)

June 8

Minnesota Guard soldier eases tensions with protesters (National Guard)

June 9

Statement from Deputy Director David Vela regarding race, equity, and the values of the National Park Service (NPS)

Guardsmen defuse tensions with Atlanta protesters (National Guard)

DC Guard helps make way for protesters, First Amendment (National Guard)

Air Force IG directed to independently examine racial disparities in service’s discipline, advancement opportunities (Air Force)

June 10

Viral video gives DC Guard member platform for change (National Guard)

June 11

Gen. Milley's message to the National Defense University class of 2020 - including apology for appearing in chuch photo-op (DOD)

June 13

Secret Service admits that tear gas was used against protestors in Lafayette Park (USSS)

Statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the protective mission of the White House zone (NPS/USPP)

June 16

Acting Secretary Wolf's statement on the president's executive order on safe policing for safe communities (DHS)

June 17

Philadelphia woman charged with arson during protests (ICE)

June 18

Secretary Mark T. Esper message to the force on DOD diversity and inclusiveness (DOD)

Acting Secretary Wolf honors FPS PSO Patrick Underwood and the Federal Protective Service family (DHS)

June 19

Actions for Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Defense (DOD)

June 25

Vandalism - Andrew Jackson statue at Lafayette Square (NPS/USPP)

U.S. Park Police issues 15 "attempt to identify" posters of individuals trying to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue (NPS/USPP)

Message to the Force on Feedback on Diversity and Inclusion in the Military (DOD)

June 29

A message for the Air Force JAG Corps (Air Force)

Vandalism - Albert Pike Statue located at 3rd Street and D Street NW (NPS/USPP)

July 1

DHS announces new task force to protect American monuments, memorials, and statues (DHS)

July 5

FPS Statement on Portland Civil Unrest (DHS)

July 8

Department of the Air Force stands up Diversity and Inclusion Task Force (Air Force)

July 9

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper's prepared statement for the record to the HASC hearing on DOD authorities and roles related to civilian law enforcement (DOD)

Guardsmen protected Americans' rights of speech and assembly, Esper says (DOD)

July 13

No place for racism, discrimination in U.S. military, Milley says (DOD)

July 15

First meeting held for military-wide Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion (DOD)

Esper thanks Diversity, Inclusion Board for tackling tough subjects (DOD)

Secretary Mark T. Esper provides update on Department efforts to address diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in the military Services (DOD)

Immediate Actions to Address Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Military Services (DOD)

July 16

Acting Secretary Wolf condemns the rampant long-lasting violence in Portland (DHS)

DHS Secy prepared to act as ‘violent anarchists’ descend on Portland (via Fox News)

Recent Violence in Portland Emblematic of Historic Clashes in the Region (DHS, via New York Times)

July 17

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper guidance on public display or depiction of flags in the Department of Defense (DOD)

DOD takes action to support diversity, inclusion (DOD)

Acting CBP Commissioner tweets about CBP's actions in Portland protests (CBP)

Statement on CBP response in Portland, Oregon (CBP)

DHS, U.S. Marshals Service, CBP, and the Federal Protective Service are named in federal lawsuit filed by Oregon Department of Justice for civil rights abuses (via NPR)

July 19

BACKGROUNDER: Day 50 of continued violence in Portland (DHS)

DHS tweets that New York Times article reporting tactical teams sent to Portland had no training in managing such demonstrations "is incorrect. All @DHSgov components cross designated to defend federal facilities in Portland had their training records reviewed to ensure their tasked missions aligned with their appropriate training." (DHS)

New York Times tweets response to DHS tweet above, with copy of "DHS memo prepared for DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf on the lack of training for tactical agents deployed to Portland" (via @KannoYoungs)

July 20

DHS authorizes domestic surveillance to protect statues and monuments (DHS, via Lawfare with snippets of document)

July 21

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Jonathan Rath Hoffman briefs reporters on Department of Defense operations (DOD)

Portland riots read-out: July 21 (DHS)

July 22

Secretary of Defense Esper addresses reporters at Whiteman AFB (DOD)

Portland riots read-out: July 22 (DHS)

July 23

Portland riots read-out: July 23 (DHS)

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweets "The resolution passed by the Portland City Council is reckless and dangerous. We need more communication with the @PortlandPolice, not less, as we work to preserve property, life and safety. In part, the resolution prohibits our organizations from sharing information and intelligence, including threats to life..."

July 24

"Internal memo from DHS I&A complaining about leaks to @lawfareblog and @shaneharris (neither by name) and insisting intel activity in Portland is all legal and appropriate" (via @benjaminwittes on Twitter)

Portland riots read-out: July 24 (DHS)

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweets "For 54 straight days, violent anarchists have been rioting on the streets of Portland as federal law enforcement officers work diligently and honorably to enforce federal law by protecting federal property and the lives of their fellow officers. Last night was no different..." (CBP)

July 25

Portland riots read-out: July 25 (DHS)

Acting Deputy Secretary Cuccinelli tweets "There is some inaccurate reporting out of #Seattle tonight. There have been no @DHSgov law enforcement officers engaged with the Seattle Police Department today as they deal with crowds there today. I believe people may be mistaking #SPD’s SWAT teams for @DHSgov LEOs." (DHS)

Acting Secretary Wolf tweets "Day 56. Last night six DHS law enforcement officers were injured in Portland. To be clear, criminals assaulted FEDERAL officers on FEDERAL property…and the city of Portland did nothing."

July 26

Internal memo from head of DHS I&A formally changing the blame for Portland violence from "Violent Opportunists" (VO) to Antifa (via @benjaminwittes on Twitter)

Portland riots read-out: July 26 (DHS)

July 27

Portland riots read-out: July 27 (DHS)

Myth vs. fact: 50+ nights of violence, chaos, and anarchy in Portland, Oregon (DHS)

July 28

Written statement of Gregory T. Monohan, Acting Chief of the U.S. Park Police for House Natural Resources Committee hearing 

Written statement of D.C. National Guard Major Adam D. DeMarco for House Natural Resources Committee hearing

Portland riots read-out: July 28 (DHS)

July 29

2020 DoD Operations Security Campaign refers to protestors and journalists as "adversaries" (DOD; screenshot via Politico; note that archived copy of SECDEF memo may be easier to access)

Portland riots read-out: July 29 (DHS)

Acting Secretary Wolf's statement on Oregon agreeing to cooperate in quelling Portland violence (DHS)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown tweets "After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland...Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland..." (note: this is not from a federal office, but the statement provides crucial context to federal statements)

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweets "Let me be clear, the highly trained and dedicated @CBP officers and agents are not leaving Portland. We will remain until the violent criminal activity towards our federal facilities and personnel ends." (CBP)

Acting Deputy Secretary Cuccinelli tweets in response to Governor Brown's tweet above, "A funny way to talk about an agreed-upon partnership, but kissing up to the violent part of her base I guess... A couple of things: 1) #FPS has been protecting the Hatfield since it was built in 1997; 2) Portland has had daily violence..." (DHS)

Acting Secretary Wolf tweets "The state of Oregon is finally agreeing to cooperate with our federal forces--exactly what we asked for since the nightly violence broke out two months ago. We're glad Oregon is now correcting their months long error..." (DHS)

Acting Secretary Wolf tweets "As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack." (DHS)

July 30

Portland riots read-out: July 30 (DHS)

July 31

DHS I&A intelligence reports on journalists (via @benjaminwittes on Twitter)

Statement from DHS Spokesman Alexei Woltornist on DHS Intelligence & Analysis Directorate reports (DHS)

Portland riots read-out: July 31 (DHS)

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweets "Last night reinforced the principle that when law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local levels work together, we are able to effectively protect our communities...." (CBP)

August 1

Portland riots read-out: August 1 (DHS)

August 2

Portland riots read-out: August 2 (DHS)

August 3

Portland riots read-out: August 3 (DHS)

August 4

Myths vs. facts: cooperation and receding riot activity in Portland, Oregon (DHS)

Portland riots read-out: August 4 (DHS)

August 5

Portland riots read-out: August 5 (DHS)

Acting Secretary Wolf testifies in front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (DHS)

U.S. Secret statement July 30 incident (USSS)

August 6

Testimony of Chad Wolf, DHS Acting Secretary, for Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs hearing "Oversight of DHS personnel deployments to recent protests" (via Internet Archive) (DHS)

22 arrested, facing federal charges after violent protests at federal courthouse in Portland (via Internet Archive) (ICE)

Portland riots read-out: August 6 (DHS)

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan to discuss July 2020 enforcement results (CBP; video, see 33:35 mark)

August 7

Portland riots read-out: August 7 (DHS)

Sen. Ted Cruz and Michael Knowles video interview with DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (DHS)

August 17

Acting Deputy Secretary Cuccinelli tweets "If dismantling DHS were really about "defending the Constitution," to the ACLU, they wouldn't have been completely silent about it during the last administration. But they were. On the other hand, there's no Constitutional right to burn down a courthouse. That's lawless." in response to ACLU tweet (DHS)

August 19

Portland man charged with assaulting deputy US Marshal with baseball bat during July riot at federal courthouse (ICE)

August 21

Media background briefing on the Air Force Inspector General's investigation of RC-26B operations, 1-4 June 2020 (DOD; direct to OIG report)

August 24

Acting Secretary Wolf tweets "25+ arrests in Portland in the last 48 hrs. Now is the time for the Governor to deploy her National Guard, send in Oregon State Police or request assistance from the federal government. Portland law enforcement is doing what they can but need help to proactively address violence." (DHS)

August 31

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler (DHS)

September 4

What DHS is saying | Acting Secretary Wolf affirms support to America’s law enforcement heroes (DHS)

September 9

'One Mission': Acting Secretary Wolf delivers 2020 State of the Homeland address (DHS)

September 14

Records related to the authorization of the deployment of DHS employees (DHS FOIA)

IG Cuffari letter to Chairs Maloney and Thompson (DHS)

November 2

Management Alert - FPS did not properly designate DHS employees deployed to protect federal properties under 40 U.S.C. § 1315(b)(1)

December 22

Air Force Releases Findings of Racial Disparity Review (DOD; see also, full IG report)

Statements and actions timeline, 2021-


January 6

Records related to Antifa (DHS)

February 12

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Department's Representatives to the Congressionally-Mandated Commission on the Naming of Items in the Department of Defense That Commemorate the Confederate States of America (DOD)

April 16

DHS Had Authority to Deploy Federal Law Enforcement Officers to Protect Federal Facilities in Portland, Oregon, but Should Ensure Better Planning and Execution in Future Cross-Component Activities (DHS OIG)

April 17

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Bell PEER request: Set 1 emails and Set 2 chat and texts (via Internet Archive) (USPP)

April 27

Civil Unrest and Disturbance Records Released by the Federal Protective Service (DHS)

May 27

Oversight Review: DC National Guard's Use of Helicopters on June 1, 2020 (DOD OIG)

June 1

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Bell PEER request: Set 3 emails and Set 4 emails (via Internet Archive) (USPP)

June 9

Review of U.S. Park Police Actions at Lafayette Park (via Internet Archive) (DOI OIG)

June 15

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Bell PEER request: Set 5 emails (via Internet Archive) (USPP)

June 22

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Corley CREW request: Memorandum 8 (coordination with other law enforcement agencies), General Order 2108 (high volume arrests), and General Order 2301 (demonstrations) (USPP)

September 10

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Bell PEER request: Set 6 emails (USPP)


April 13

Justice Department Announces Civil Settlement in Lafayette Square Cases (with revised USPP policy)

October 14

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Bell PEER request, Revised Production Release Materials (USPP)


March 17

Lafayette Square FOIA releases, Westervelt request: June 1 Final redactions | May 31 Final redactions | May 30 Final redactions | initial response 3 SIGNED (USPP)

May 24

Alleged Excessive Use of Force, NPS, DC (DOI OIG)


February 5

FPS Incident Summary, FPS Portland Emails, and FPS Incident Reports released (DHS)