PORTLAND, OR – The feds have moved in and the arrests have escalated.
Recently, a group of federal police officers were dispatched to the Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse after two months of rioting in the area in order to protect federal property.
The group of officers made up of Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, and the US Marshall’s Office (BORTAC) were sent at the direction of President Trump who promised to restore law and order in the area.
These officers, called derogatory names, “stormtroopers,” or any other word in an attempt to identify them as Nazi soldiers may in part by why they have been met with violence upon their arrival.
However, unlike the Portland Police, seemingly at the direction of Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, the federal police are taking action in order to quell the unrest and have released information stating they have arrested or detained 60 people as of last night.
Assistant United States Attorney for Oregon Craig Gabriel and Harry Fones, the assistant press secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security spoke to the media on a phone call on Saturday.
They spoke about the ongoing unrest in Portland since the murder of George Floyd and the number of people they have arrested or detained as a result. To date, 46 people out of the 60 have been formally charged by the US Attorney’s office for crimes ranging from arson, failure to comply with orders, and assault on federal officers.
There is no mention if criminal charges are pending for the other 14.
“The conduct most concerning to us has been the nightly assault on federal officers. He pointed out that federal police have been the subject of frequent attacks as they stand guard at the federal courthouse.
Rioters have used “bricks, metal ball bearings, commercial grade fireworks” in their attacks. These attacks have left the officers injured, some of those injuries have been from “burns, puncture wounds, and a broken bone.”
Some rioters and protesters are also somehow obtaining the personal information of the federal officers and could potentially use that information to threaten, intimidate, or harm their family members.
Gabriel advised the federal authorities respects people’s right to peacefully assemble in “large and even rowdy protests,” but that there is no right for people to begin vandalizing property and injuring police officers. Gabriel continued:
“We know people of color are subject to force by law enforcement at a higher rate than white people are. They’re arrested at a higher rate than white people are, and they’re sentenced to longer prison terms than white people. So we need to have that conversation. We have been engaged in that conversation and we’ll continue to do so.”
Gabriel’s belief that there is some type of vendetta that law enforcement has against people of color is one of the main tenants of why the riots and peaceful protests are taking place.
However, in a study by the Crime Prevention Research Center’s John R Lott, Jr and economist Carlisle E Moody, from the College of William and Mary find the opposite.
For their research, they reviewed the material the FBI has and examined 1,333 more to make it more comprehensive. The study found that racism does not have any significant role in any police involved death of people of color and that white officers are actually less likely than black officer to use deadly force against black people.
Their findings, that the research and facts show that a white officers use of force is typically “race neutral,” as it should be.
Gabriel advised that his office is “committed to de-escalating tensions and fostering a productive conversation about needed changes in law enforcement.”
One way that they are trying to keep the peace between federal officers and the crowd are by the fence that has been erected around the property.
“The fence is the primary way that officers are seeking to de-escalate tension. Before the fence was up, we had some violent agitators come up to the courthouse steps, come up to the front door, rip off the plywood and shatter the glass door. The fence was put up just to create some space. The fence was put up so that the peaceful protesters could focus on Black Lives Matter and racial justice.”
Portland: Riots hit 60th consecutive night as mayor keeps fighting feds – and shootings and stabbings break out
PORTLAND, OR – On May 25th, George Floyd encountered four police officers who developed probable cause for his arrest regarding a counterfeit bill transaction.
As the world knows, something happened and George Floyd was taken to the ground. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, for whatever reason, decided to keep Floyd pinned to the ground which ultimately contributed to his untimely death.
On May 29th, Chauvin was arrested and charged for killing Floyd, and shortly after, the remaining officers were also taken into custody.
The quick termination and arrest of those involved in the murder of Floyd apparently was not enough for many people across the United States, specifically in Portland, where there have been nightly protests and riots, which have been occurring for 60 straight days.
Portland rioters use lasers to assault federal agents
"Violent extremists are ramping up the use of these & other weapons that are causing severe bodily harm to our Agents," CBP Chief Rodney Scott said.. pic.twitter.com/GopS6HGYkr
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 27, 2020
On Sunday night, the normal protests and riots occurred in Portland, only this time there was also a shooting, which left one person injured.
The shooting happened around 7:30pm in the area of Southwest Fourth and Salmon St near the federal building in which federal police have set up a perimeter. Police advised that witnesses in the area have not provided a clear motive in the shooting other than a group of people were arguing, and there were several guns displayed.
At one point, a round was fired, striking the unidentified person who was taken by a private party to the hospital. The person is expected to recover.
Although two people were originally detained in regards to the shooting, both have been released. Police advise this shooting is still under investigation.
In an unrelated incident, police arrested 43-year-old Blake David Hampe, a convicted sex offender, early Saturday morning for allegedly stabbing someone near the federal courthouse.
In this case, a group of reporters from Common Sense Conservative noticed they were being followed while covering the riots by who they believed were members of Antifa due to them wearing masks. Drew Duncomb, a black conservative, confronted one of the people and asked why he was following the group.
In response, the masked white man stabbed Duncomb and attempted to leave. However, a group of protesters encircled the man and prevented him from leaving so that police could arrest him. Duncomb was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
The Violent Antifa's name is Blake David Hampe; he's a Convicted Pedophile.
His bail is set at $250,000 pic.twitter.com/a8Yo02pCun
— Brandon Farley • Portland Protest Reporter (@FarleyMedia) July 25, 2020
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 25, 2020
Near the scene of the stabbing, in Lownsdale Square Park (in front of the federal courthouse) Portland Police located several items stowed away, including loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails.
It does not appear the stabbing is related to the found explosives or munitions.
In addition to these items being located, reports of people firing commercial-grade fireworks and throwing cans of beans, water bottles, and potatoes at the federal police guarding the courthouse.
Tonight Portland Police were near Lownsdale Square Park. A person pointed out a bag to them. Inside the bag Police found loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails pic.twitter.com/ytpu9pZjqG
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 27, 2020
In a response to the growing violence centered now around the federal courthouse, additional federal police are being sent to Portland to deal with the unrest and rioting.
Of course, democrats raise concern that the federal police are using excessive force in dealing with the rioters and protesters in the area.
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In one such example, Donavan La Bella was holding a speaker above his head and did not appear to be threatening in any manner. Someone from the US Marshall’s Office fired a less lethal round, striking him in the head. This incident is currently being investigated by those who oversee the federal officers in Portland.
There are some that claim that the protests and riots appeared to be getting less frequent until the federal police arrived. However, the riots have gone on for 60 days in a row, and the feds have only been in town for a little over a week.
Additionally, there appears to be no end in sight.
Assistant US Attorney Craig Gabriel said in a press conference:
“People are angry. Very large crowds are gathering, marching, shouting, and expressing deep and legitimate anger and frustration with police and the justice system. People all across Portland are protesting in constitutionally protected ways. And they’ve done so for the last 57 days and nights.”
And while he is right, while there are plenty of protesters who are doing it right, he’s leaving out the other part of the group that filters in with the peaceful protesters and incites violence, and a lot of people are getting fed up with that, including the Portland NAACP president, E.D. Mondaine.
In an op-ed published in the Washington post, Mondaine said that the protests had become a spectacle and “white people” have “hijacked” the fight.
Last Thursday, Mondaine told a crowd:
“The focus has been moved up from where it is supposed to be and made to be a spectacle, a debacle, in the systems and eyes of America. But we cannot let this debacle stay in the streets. We cannot fight it just in the streets. We cannot fight it with the voices that stand in this square.”
Activist Fahiym Acuay, who goes by Smiff, feels that the criticism of Mondaine undercuts the “movement.” However, he does believe that white people being involved are not as much at risk as people of color.
“They don’t face the same risks as us. I know sometimes I want to go and throw smoke bombs back at the cops. Sometimes I want to go and set some shit on fire, but I know I can’t do that. They will find me. They will lock me up forever. We can’t sit there and be like, ‘We want to raise our fists and sing, “We Shall Not Be Moved” until 2 in the morning.’
“That’s fine. Do that shit. Someone else was like, “Yo, we need to throw eggs at the cops.” That’s what you want to do, do it. It’s all protest. It’s not violence.”
Acuay believes that white people need to be present, if only to ensure that the protests and riots continue:
“Any protest that is of any significant size in Portland is going to be mostly white. We can’t be out there with a hundred people every night, they’re going to arrest us all.”
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