Current Events

The face-off between federal authorities and locals in Portland, Oregon.

Current Events

The Backstory

Portland, Oregon: Population 650,000+

50+ days of protests, civil unrest ignited by the death of George Floyd.

Local Reports: Gatherings have been both peaceful and violent.

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The Latest

Violence has escalated in recent weeks.

Citing the increased violence, the Dept. of Homeland Security sent federal law enforcement to support local police & secure federal property.

Locals have *also* accused federal law enforcement officers of increasing violence by overusing force and abusing their position.

 

Current Events

“Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.”

Dept. of Homeland Security Sec. Chad Wolf on July 16, criticizing what he called a "failed response" by local leaders to calm civil unrest. He offered federal help, citing a list of recent crimes in the area - incl. the throwing of explosives at federal property and attacks on law enforcement officers. A complete list of allegations is on our source page.
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“It’s simply like adding gasoline to a fire.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) says the presence of federal law enforcement in Portland, Oregon has conversely sparked more violence. The state's governor, a U.S. senator, and the Portland Mayor - all Democrats - have criticized the Trump administration for federal overreach. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are calling for an investigation.
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“Dozens of people with shields, helmets, gas masks, umbrellas, bats, & hockey sticks approached the doors of the courthouse…people lit a fire within the portico in front of the federal courthouse. Others gathered around the fire adding wood & other debris to make it larger.”

Portland Police said they were "not present" & didn't engage crowds during the July 19-20 events, but cited federal law enforcement presence.
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“A van pulls up right in front of us. I am basically tossed into the van. I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see, and they held my hands over my head.”

Mark Pettibone said he was given no reason for his July 15 arrest by federal agents. He says he was taken to the federal courthouse, searched, photographed, read his Miranda rights, and held in a cell before his eventual release a short time later.
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What Does The Law Say?

Generally speaking, in America you cannot be taken into custody by law enforcement unless they have probable cause of a crime.

Federal courthouses, like all federal properties, are under the protection of federal law enforcement. U.S. Marshals, which are part of the Department of Justice, are responsible for protecting federal courthouses.

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On Friday, the Oregon Attorney General sued the federal gov't, alleging the civil rights of citizens were violated when they were detained without probable cause. Last month, federal law enforcement were deployed to Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C. & Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in light of recent unrest.

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Read

Sources

Here’s the list of allegations from the Dept. of Homeland Security: click

Local Portland, Oregon description of the last 50 days

Read the Portland police report from July 20th 

A read-through of the lawsuit from Friday: https://katu.com/news/local/oregon-ag-sues-homeland-security-announces-criminal-investigation

Here’s a report from what happened after the July 4th holiday – with a collection of  photos/video of protests in action: click here