Federal authorities in Portland have arrested 74 demonstrators and charged 60 with federal crimes, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokeswoman Kerri Kupec announced on Monday.
The DOJ spokeswoman made the announcement on Monday, providing the number of federal arrests and charged cases “related to violent opportunists & civil unrest.”
There have been 74 arrests in Portland alone, with 60 demonstrators facing charges. Nationwide, federal authorities have made 236 arrests, with 238 defendants charged:
Current # of federal arrests and charged cases related to violent opportunists & civil unrest ⬇️
⏹ 74 arrests
⏹ 60 defendants charged
Total Nationally —
⏹ 236 arrests
⏹ 238 defendants charged
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) July 27, 2020
According to the DHS spokesperson, protesters have been equipped with “Molotov cocktails, Sledgehammers, Pipe bombs, Mortar fireworks, and Metal spikes”:
These aren’t the tools of peaceful protesters. They are tools of violent rioters looking to harm and destroy. https://t.co/2R8DK1cbaW
— DHS spokesperson (@SpoxDHS) July 27, 2020
The Portland Police Bureau has affirmed many of the tools listed, writing as recently as July 26 that downtown protesters were equipped with “gas masks, carried shields, hockey sticks, leaf blowers, flags, and umbrellas specifically to thwart police in crowd dispersal or attempt to conceal criminal acts.”
Violent protests have continued.to ravage Portland, as countless videos show demonstrators vandalizing the federal courthouse, launching mortars toward the building, setting fires in the area, and targeting officers. Rioters reportedly hurled Molotov cocktails toward federal officers over the weekend as they moved to disperse the violent crowds.
“As federal officers left the courthouse to respond to attacks on the fence last night, just like on other nights, rioters responded with hard projectiles, mortar style fireworks and lasers that can cause permanent blindness,” the DHS’s July 27 readout detailing the chaos in Portland read.
The readout affirmed that a Molotov cocktail “was thrown over the fence” shortly after midnight:
BREAKING: rioters throw what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail at federal agents dispersing crowds pic.twitter.com/67hJvnYEB5
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) July 27, 2020
Antifa rioters are throwing Molotov cocktails toward federal officers at the courthouse. Earlier in the day, police found a cache of ready-made incendiary devices and fully loaded magazines. Video by @livesmattershow. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/KFPyahZ8Er
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 27, 2020
Rioters have now thrown Molotov Cocktails at the courthouse pic.twitter.com/bM5TfqcdzJ
— Drew Hernandez (@livesmattershow) July 27, 2020
Portland Police also announced the discovery of a bag filled with ammunition and Molotov cocktails near Lownsdale Square Park early Monday morning:
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
Portland Police have been relatively hands-off in quelling the unrest following the addition of federal agents and the City Council’s move to bar the department from assisting federal law enforcement.
Protesters, however, have continued to assault authorities, hurling various projectiles night after night and shining lasers into the eyes of officers.
“You’ve seen the green lasers that are being used out there. We have three officers who currently have eye injuries, and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks,” Federal Protective Service (FPS) Deputy Director of Operations Richard announced last week.
Meanwhile, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) is joining several Democrat mayors in calling for the removal of federal agents from their respective cities.
“At the direction of the President of the United States, unidentified federal agents have been deployed to America’s cities, like Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, to interrupt local protests and impose ‘law and order’ for political purposes,” the mayors said in a joint statement to Congress, accusing Trump of “targeting and occupation of progressive cities” and calling it “unacceptable, un-American, and unconstitutional.”