PORTLAND, Ore. — A small airplane registered to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security flew over protesters in downtown Portland on Wednesday night.
The Beechcraft Super King Air 350 made wide, counterclockwise circles over demonstrators for almost three hours.
Publicly available flight records show the government aircraft left Bellingham International Airport at 8:17 p.m. The plane flew over downtown Portland at roughly 10,000 feet before landing at Portland International Airport for almost an hour. It continued buzzing downtown Portland before returning to Bellingham at 1:50 a.m.
It is not clear why the plane flew over demonstrators in Portland or what information, if any, was gathered during the flights. KGW is waiting for a response from the Department of Homeland Security.
In June, a plane linked to the U.S. Marshals Service flew a similar counterclockwise circles over protesters in Portland.
The government’s use of surveillance planes to watch over people protesting in various cities has attracted the attention of three dozen Democrats in Congress, including Oregon Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio. They’ve asked federal agencies to stop the practice.