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  6. Portland Riots Read-Out: July 21

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In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

Portland Riots Read-Out: July 21

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Bottom Line:

As they have for the past 50+ days, on the evening of Monday, July 20th violent anarchists targeted the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and federal law enforcement officers in Portland.

Attacks on federal personnel and property over the previous several days have included violent attacks on federal officers with weapons as well as efforts to start fires at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse with federal law enforcement officers inside the building. The rioting continued through Monday, when seven individuals were arrested on suspicion of federal crimes including assaulting federal officers.

Monday, July 20 – Tuesday, July 21:

Approximately 75-100 peaceful individuals protested near the Hatfield Federal Courthouse Monday evening.  Those individuals departed the area around 11 p.m. without incident.

Shortly thereafter, over 1,000 people surrounded the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and began removing plywood coverings on the windows meant to protect the building and the federal officers inside, and then attempted to throw objects – some of them incendiary – through the windows at the officers.

Rioters in the crowd were kicking the doors of the federal courthouse, vandalizing the building with spray paint and blocking adjacent intersections.

Federal officers responded to this assault by deploying pepper balls and tear gas. Rioters continued their assault, throwing canned food rocks, and other projectiles at the officers.

At approximately 12:20 local time, more rioters attempted to break into the courthouse, tearing down plywood and breaking a window in the process.

FPS and DHS officers put out several fires that had been lit in the vicinity, including one at the building.

When officers responded to put out these fires, glass bottles were thrown and lasers – which can cause permanent blindness – were shined in their eyes. Pepper balls were again deployed in response to the assault.

One individual was also seen taking pictures of a water intake system to the Edith Green Federal Building, which is also under FPS protection. Earlier in the evening, a Twitter user tweeted “So we can shut off the water to the buildings the feds are staying in to make it a nightmare for them.”

Seven arrests were made total, two were for assaults on federal officers and five for noncompliance with lawful directions. One of the federal officers assaulted is a member of the Federal Protective Service, the other is a member of the U.S Marshals Service. Another federal officer was injured when he was struck by a glass bottle thrown by rioters.

Previous Days:

July 19-20.  Violence/Vandalism and Attempted Arson on Federal Property in Portland:

  • Again, violent anarchists tore down the perimeter fencing around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
  • The crowd grew to an estimated 1,000.
  • Red, green and purple lasers – which can cause permanent blindness – were aimed by rioters at federal officers through the courthouse doors while one group used a strobe light on the building. Violent anarchists attacked the building and the officers inside by throwing heavy objects and launching fireworks at the building. A commercial-grade mortar firework was fired in the vicinity of the Hatfield Courthouse front doors.
  • These incendiary fireworks were launched at the courthouse at the same time that rioters had barricaded the front entrance of the Courthouse with sections of the torn down fence, potentially trapping federal officers inside.
  • In order to protect themselves and their fellow officers, law enforcement used pepper balls to disperse the violent crowd.
  • An individual was taken into custody on suspicion of arson and trespassing for lighting a fire in the plaza of the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. DHS Officers extinguished the fire and the individual is pending charges..
  • Violent anarchists targeted surveillance cameras around the Hatfield Courthouse, rendering them inoperable.
  • The U.S. Marshals Service reported communications jamming last night, which may have caused significant problems with their radio communications. This was the first reported instance of jamming since the riots have started.

July 18-19.  Violence/Defacing of Government Property in Portland:

  • ACBP Officer was injured when he was struck with a projectile from a suspected “wrist rocket” causing a laceration requiring sutures to his leg.
  • Violent anarchists tore down newly erected fence protecting the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. The city fencing was also removed from the city parks that have been used as a staging area for the violent crowds.
  • A bomb squad had to be called in after Federal Protective Service reported a suspicious device located in front of the Hatfield Courthouse, described as a small device tied to the fence line by a white rope. Agents determined the device was an armed, commercially available smoke signaling device. It was rendered safe and removed.
  • A second device found to have damaged the plywood attached to the Hatfield Courthouse door. This device was analyzed and determined to be a commercially available pyrotechnic, which could have caused a fire inside of the federal building.
Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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