Fears of renewed FBI abuse of power after informant infiltrated BLM protests


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Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

‘Outraged’ senator Ron Wyden urges agency to explain tactics from 2020 protests reminiscent of rogue behavior from decades past

Police have used teargas at BLM protests (Michael Ciaglo)

The FBI’s use of an informant to infiltrate Black Lives Matter in Denver during the wave of protests over the 2020 police killing of George Floyd has prompted concern in Congress that the federal agency is once again abusing its powers to harass and intimidate minority groups.

Ron Wyden, the Democratic senator from Oregon, is calling for the FBI to explain how it came to recruit a violent felon as an informant who then went on to gain prominence among Denver racial justice activists. The informant is alleged to have encouraged protesters to engage in increasingly violent demonstrations while trying to entrap them in criminal misdeeds.

“If the allegations are true, the FBI’s use of an informant to spy on first amendment-protected activity and stoke violence at peaceful protests is an outrageous abuse of law-enforcement resources and authority,” Wyden told the Guardian.


The FBI’s infiltration of Black Lives Matter in Denver “appears to show another instance of the Trump administration trampling on the rights of Americans in order to divide our country and gain a political advantage”, Wyden said. “The FBI owes the public a full accounting of its actions, including how anyone responsible for attempting to entrap and discredit racial justice activists will be held accountable.”

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