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US Attorney: Feds will stay in Portland until attacks end

Portland protest tear gas KGW
KGW file
Tear gas deployed at Portland protest in July 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal militarized officers will remain in Portland until attacks on the U.S. courthouse cease, a top official said Monday after another night of violence. And more officers may soon be on the way.

“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel. We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told a telephonic news conference.

Local and state officials said the federal officers are unwelcome. The mayor of Portland and five other cities appealed Monday to Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that don’t want them.

“This administration’s egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen,” the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City Albuquerque and Washington D.C. wrote to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate.

The mayors want Congress to require consultation with and consent from local authorities before federal deployments; require visible identification at all times on federal agents and vehicles unless on an undercover mission authorized by the local U.S. attorney; and limit federal agents’ activities to protecting federal property.

Early Monday, U.S. agents repeatedly fired tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland. Some protesters had climbed over the fence surrounding the courthouse, while others shot fireworks, banged on the fence and projected lights on the building.

Trump said Monday on Twitter that the federal properties in Portland “wouldn’t last a day” without the presence of the federal agents.

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22 Arrested, Facing Federal Charges After Weekend Protests at Federal Courthouse in Portland
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/27/20 5:16 PM

Charges include assaulting federal officers, failing to obey lawful orders, and operating a drone in restricted airspace

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that 22 people have been arrested and are facing federal charges for their roles in weekend protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland.

According to court documents, since May 26, 2020, protests in downtown Portland have been followed by nightly criminal activity including assaults on law enforcement officers, destruction of property, looting, arson, and vandalism. The Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a nightly target of vandalism during evening protests and riots, sustaining extensive damage.

U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection working to protect the courthouse have been subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators while performing their duties.

Six people have been charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July 23, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 24, 2020. Carly Anne Ballard, 34, and David Michael Bouchard, 36, are charged with assaulting federal officers; and Josslynn Kreutz, 28, Dakota Eastman, 30, Ezra Meyers, 18, and Mark Rolycanov, 28, are charged with failing to obey lawful orders.

On July 24, 2020, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Ronald Bernard Hickey, 44, a Canadian National, for harassing and stalking federal employees assigned to assist the Federal Protective Service with ongoing civil unrest in Portland. Hickey used his Twitter account, @TawasiSoce, to knowingly release personal information of these employees in an attempt to threaten, intimidate, or incite violence against them.

Eight people have been charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July 25, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 26, 2020. Rebecca Gonzales-Mota, 37; Stephen O’Donnell, 65; Thomas Johnson, 33; Nathan Oderdonk-Snow, 21; Joshua Webb, 22; Pablo Avvacato, 26; and Doug Dean, 34, are charged with assaulting federal officers. Richard Lindstet, 33, is charged with operating a drone in restricted airspace.

Seven people have been charged for alleged criminal conduct during a protest beginning July 26, 2020 and continuing into the early morning hours of July 27, 2020. Michael Stephenson, 23; Caleb Willis, 29; Noelle Mandolfo, 30; Travis Williams, 27; Patrick Stanford, age unknown; Coree Jefree, age unknown; and Tyler Gabriel, 22, are charged with assaulting federal officers.

All defendants, unless noted, are presumed to be local residents.

These cases are being jointly investigated the U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Protective Service. They are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Criminal complaints and informations are only accusations of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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People attempt to cut through fence around Federal Courthouse, launch fireworks, climb over fence
Portland Police Bureau - 07/27/20 3:05 AM

On July 26, 2020 a crowd of several hundred people gathered along SW 3rd Avenue mostly concentrated outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. People blocked streets in the area around the courthouse. They spent hours yelling, chanting, banging on the fence and throwing objects over it.

At about 11:45 p.m. people began launching mortar-style fireworks over the fence. A short time later people climbed over the fence, entering the portico. At about that time a group lit a large fire in Lownsdale Square Park. People in the crowd continually picked at the fence. Some gathered with shields and umbrellas to cover a person trying to cut through it.

On July 27, 2020 at about 12:59 a.m. somebody started a fire just inside the fence along SW 3rd Avenue. The fire started quickly, grew into large flames on the sidewalk, and was out within about a minute. Following that, dozens of people approached the outside of the fence with shields and began throwing objects over it.

The crowd was dispersed over the course of the next few hours.

Portland Police did not participate in dispersing these crowds, did not make any arrests and did not deploy CS gas.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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