Portland Protesters Hit with Federal Charges

Portland Protesters Charged
NBC 16

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon on Tuesday unveiled federal charges against protesters who allegedly physically assaulted federal law enforcement and vandalized a federal courthouse during ongoing demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd.

NBC 16 reports:

The federal government confirmed Monday night that its agents took seven people into custody outside the federal courthouse between Thursday and early Monday morning. Their charges vary from assault on a federal officer to destruction of federal property and creating a hazard on federal property.

All seven appeared in court Monday.

The U.S. Attorney in Oregon said the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse was badly damaged amid violent unrest that had occurred for 40 consecutive nights. A U.S. Attorney in Oregon said:

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 threats; aerial fireworks including mortars; high intensity lasers targeting officers’ eyes; thrown rocks, bottles, and balloons filled with paint from demonstrators while performing their duties.

Rowan Olsen, 19, was slapped with the most charges and has pleaded not guilty.

Court papers filed Monday allege Olsen used his body to hold the doors to the courthouse shut to prevent federal officers from coming out to confront demonstrators and caused the glass to shatter. Other protesters then threw fireworks inside the courthouse and at federal officers, starting a small fire in the entryway, according to court papers.

Demonstrators are also accused of shining laser beams in the eyes of federal officers, assaulting officers with a shield and destroying a security camera.

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement that U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all been on duty protecting the courthouse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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