Federal agents appeared to use a spray to compel protesters to move from the unmarked buses after the nearly 12-hour standoff in the city of Bend, KTVZ reported.
CNN says the standoff began Wednesday afternoon when a man, apparently aware that ICE had detained someone or some people, stepped in front of one of the buses in a parking lot in Bend, refused to move, and began live streaming on Facebook.
That man was identified as Luke Richter, president of the Central Oregon Peacekeepers. Richter began live streaming on Facebook around 1 p.m. and stepped in front of the first of two buses, refusing to move. Eventually, a crowd gathered in part to oppose the arrests.
On their Facebook page, The Peacekeepers says they “are dedicated to the safety of the Central Oregon activist community. We organize safety volunteers, identify violent counter-protesters, and research public figures. If you believe in justice, equity, and inclusion, we’re here for you.”
Fox News says that Bend police said it had been made aware ICE agents were in the city conducting an investigation but were not given details, the department said in a statement.
“The Bend Police are not involved with ICE operations,” the statement said. “We do not use funds or personnel or equipment to enforce federal immigration laws or to detain people based on immigration status…We are on scene to allow free speech and a peaceful area to assemble and to provide life safety support.”
Bend Mayor Sally Russell said in a tweet she was told both men detained by the ICE officers “have warrants out for their arrest. This is not a sweep for undocumented immigrants.”
Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cucinelli confirmed in a post to Twitter that “The two individuals arrested each had a history of criminal violent behavior.”
KTVZ also reports that a Portland-based immigration rights law group called Innovation Law Lab filed suit in federal court against the Department of Homeland Security to try to keep ICE from leaving Bend with the detainees.
ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman said early Thursday that due to the pending lawsuit, “ICE cannot provide information concerning the two individuals.”