White House: 3 Federal Officers Likely Permanently Blinded By Portland Protesters

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Violent clashes between federal officers and protesters have resulted in injuries on both sides.

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Defending the controversial presence of federal forces in Portland, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany took aim at “so-called peaceful protesters” during a press briefing, listing the injuries to Department of Homeland Security agents deployed earlier this month to quell ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.

“A federal agent’s hand was impaled by planted nails, another federal agent was shot by a pellet gun leaving a wound deep to the bone and tragically three federal officers were likely left permanently blinded by the rioters,” said McEnany, who also accused protesters of barricading officers inside the courthouse and launching fireworks at them.

So far, reports have focused on the many injuries to protesters hit with tear gas for 10 straight nights, as well as flash-bangs and less-lethal munitions.

According to the Freedom of Press Foundation, feds have reportedly injured at least 30 journalists since arriving in Portland, and last week, a protester was shot in the head with impact munition, suffering a fractured skull.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was caught in the crossfire on Wednesday night, explaining it was “hard to breathe” when he was tear-gassed after a meeting with protesters outside the courthouse.

McEnany responded to Wheeler’s accusations that federal officers’ responses were an “egregious overreaction,” calling the Democratic mayor “appalling” for “[standing] in the middle of a riot while violent protesters attacked a federal building.”

Mayor Wheeler’s office told Forbes it has no comment regarding the officers’ injuries.

I’m a British-born reporter covering breaking news for Forbes, with previous experience at CBS, CNN and Inc. I attended NYU where I studied Politics, Economics and