Portland protests have led to federal and misdemeanor charges against 74 individuals, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Many have been charged with failing to obey a lawful order or assaulting a federal officer. Four face arson or attempted arson charges.
All but six of the arrests occurred between July 20 and July 31— at the height of the at-times violent clashes between protesters and federal law enforcement agents deployed to the city by President Trump.
Federal officers advance on demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Black Lives Matter protests against excessive police force and racism have taken place in Portland for more than 90 straight days. The feds said on many nights, after peaceful demonstrations end, various public and private buildings have been the target of vandalism and destruction
“Violent agitators have hijacked any semblance of First Amendment protected activity, engaging in violent criminal acts and destruction of public safety,” Portland U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said.
“While the FBI supports and safeguards Constitutionally-protected activity and civil rights, there is no permit for assault, arson or property damage and these are not victimless crimes,” said Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon.
Police confront demonstrators at Portland’s Justice Center July 5. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Of those arrested, Williams’ news release identified 63 people.
They include Jacob Gains, charged July 11 with whacking a U.S. marshal with a hammer three times.
They also include Gabriel Agard-Berryhill, 18, charged with tossing a large incendiary device at the Portland Federal Courthouse on July 28. Federal investigators viewed social media that they said showed Agard-Berryhill throwing the object.
The 11 not named have been issued citations.