After weeks of violent rioting and nightly attacks, federal officers in Portland saw their first night of state and local law enforcement support and relative peace in the vicinity of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
Following Wednesday’s announcement of a cooperation agreement between DHS and Oregon’s governor, Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) stepped in to assist operations to protect the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. Crowds remained peaceful through the course of the evening; there were no reported actions, and thus no intervention by state or federal officers.
The past 24 hours:
Thursday afternoon, per the terms of the cooperation agreement, Portland Police Bureau, Oregon State Police, and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department, cleared city parks in the vicinity of the federal courthouse. On previous nights, rioters had used the parks as staging grounds for criminal violence over the past several weeks. After the parks had been cleared, PPB reported conducting two arrests and finding several weapons including a sledgehammer.
At around 5:00 p.m. local time, Oregon State Police arrived at the federal incident command post; OSP officers were stationed inside the Hatfield Courthouse alongside DHS law enforcement teams.
OSP officers participated in daily operational briefings with federal law enforcement officers and later participated in joint patrols of the federal courthouse.
At 10:17 p.m. local time, approximately 300-400 people peacefully gathered in the area around the courthouse. By around 12:23 a.m. local time, the size of the crowd decreased to approximately 150-200 people. By around 1:00 a.m., it decreased to approximately 100 people and by 1:30 a.m. it dwindled to between 15-20 people.
Federal and state officers located inside the courthouse were not forced to leave the building during the course of the night – a stark difference from previous nights – and DHS officers made no arrests.
A person of interest wanted for suspected use of an explosive device during previous rioting turned himself in Thursday. The suspect was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with creating a hazard.