Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) corrected the false claim Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) made about federal officers in Portland being "unidentifiable" during her opening statement at the Senate Subcommittee on The Constitution's "The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence" hearing on Tuesday.
Hirono made the claim that officers deployed to protect the Hatfield Federal Courthouse after multiple nights of riots could not be identified with the agency they were working for.
"Nobody is condoning violence against anyone, by anyone. This hearing is titled, quote, The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence, end quote. But the hearing we should be having is one called 'The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Without Being Beaten Up by Unidentifiable Federal Agents.' That would address an actual problem lawful protesters are facing and the rest of us are seeing in this country," Hirono said.
"On July 4, unidentified federal agents arrived in Portland, outfitted as if for war, wearing camouflage and heavy gear. To justify this unnecessary deployment of federal officers, President Trump and his administration have repeatedly portrayed Portland protesters as violent anarchists and members of Antifa," she added.
"Thank you, Senator Hirono. I will note at the end of that video that is narrated, it says, describes law enforcement officers as unidentified while the video shows them with the words 'police' in bright yellow all caps across their chest. So that’s a curious way to describe a law enforcement officer as unidentified," Cruz said after Hirono finished her opening statement.
Hirono was not the only Democrat in the hearing who described the federal officers as either "secret police" or "unidentifiable," as both Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley used the same descriptors during their statements.
I have previously reported how the claim is not true after being on the ground in Portland last week.
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli also explained how officers can be identified by the patches on their uniforms.
"I see in bright yellow, in all caps, the word 'police.' And we're far away in COVID times, we're pretty spread out. How exactly is someone with giant all caps with 'police' across their chest, how are they secret police? What am I missing?" Cruz asked.
"Nothing secret about it and for those who have questions why we use 'police,' it is the internationally recognized identification of law enforcement," Cuccinelli replied.