Nights of protest unrest with repeated assaults on Portland’s Federal Courthouse by Black Lives Matter have prompted Oregon State Police to break their deal to protect the courthouse after Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced last week that rioters would not be prosecuted, according to KOIN-6.
The two-week agreement was struck between Gov. Kate Brown and Vice President Mike Pence to get federal officers out of Portland after weeks of violent confrontations with protesters. But the violent protests are back and there is a growing split over whether those arrested will be charged.
Local and federal law enforcement officials had reached an agreement to protect the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse so that federal agents could be pulled back in order to defuse an already-explosive situation in the Rose City. More than 500 people have been arrested, but only 50 rioters have been prosecuted.
The state police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” Capt. Timothy R. Fox told television stations last week. “Last night was our last night in Portland.”
Schmidt said that the new policy recognizes the outrage and frustration over a history of racial injustice that led to the protests. Following the announcement, rioters returned to the courthouse and continued their assault on police.
“The OSP Troopers assigned to this event demonstrated the best traditions of the agency’s commitment to service, however, our initial commitment to the City of Portland has concluded and it is time we integrate this valuable resource back to their respective communities,” OSP said in a statement to National Review.
“OSP will always be here for Portland, as we have for decades and I’ll continue to assess subsequent resource demands with the Portland Police Bureau Chief, whom I have a great deal of respect for and a strong working relationship.”
“This transition was made in coordination with local and federal officials,” Governor Kate Brown tweeted. “If further state support is needed in Portland, OSP troopers will be available to return to the city.”