July 27, 2020

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bill to Promote Transparency with Federal Law Enforcement

Washington, D.C. – In response to the recent actions of federal law enforcement at protests in Portland, Oregon, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in cosponsoring the Preventing Authoritarian Tactics in America's Streets Act, which would block the executive branch from deploying unidentified, unmarked federal forces against Americans. Specifically, this bill would hold officers from the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group (SOG), the Customs and Border Protection Tactical Unit (BORTAC), and the Homeland Security Investigations Special Response Team (HSI SRT) accountable to local and state government requests for transparency and ensure federal officers are clearly identified.

“The lack of proper identification and transparency from federal law enforcement officers during lawful protests in American streets is a deep concern and direct threat to the constitutional rights of all Americans. It’s unacceptable for law enforcement officials to deliberately hide their identification or use unmarked vehicles to arrest peaceful protestors without explanation. These actions endanger Americans exercising their right to freedom of speech and this Administration needs to be held accountable.”


The Preventing Authoritarian Tactics in America's Streets Act will:

  • Require federal officers to wear identifying insignia.
  • Limit federal forces to the immediate vicinity of Federal property unless there has been a written request by local leadership for a broader law enforcement operation.
  • Prohibit arrests or apprehensions in unmarked vehicles and render any arrest made in violation of this act unlawful.
  • Require notice to the public in the event of crowd-control related deployments that include information about the agencies involved, number of personnel, information related to requests, and more.