Report: DEA Given Sweeping New Surveillance Powers Amid Protests

Buzzfeed News reported Tuesday that the U.S. Justice Department has given the Drug Enforcement Agency authority “to enforce any federal crime committed as a result of the protests over the death of George Floyd” for the next two weeks. The authorization also includes covert surveillance of protesters. 

A copy of the DOJ memo obtained by Buzzfeed is available here

“Drug enforcement agents should not be conducting covert surveillance of protests and First Amendment protected speech,” ACLU Senior Attorney Hugh Handeyside, told Buzzfeed. “That kind of monitoring and information sharing may well constitute unwarranted investigation of people exercising their constitutional rights to seek justice. The executive branch continues to run headlong in the wrong direction.”