PORTLAND (US) – Frustrated over a prosecutor’s decision not to book many protesters arrested in demonstrations, the Oregon State Police said on Thursday they were withdrawing protection from Portland’s federal courthouse.
According to an agreement between Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Vice President Mike Pence, the state police were deployed in Portland two weeks ago in a bid to withdraw federal agents following weeks of clashes with protesters. President Donald Trump had threatened to send the National Guard to Portland if Oregon authorities requested.
Oregon State Police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies, and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” said spokesman Timothy Fox.
He said the police are angry over Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s decision not to indict many protesters who were arrested.
Schmidt said on Tuesday that he would only prosecute protesters arrested for assault, theft or damage of property.
He indicated that he would be dropping lesser charges such as rioting and disorderly conduct.
“If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society,” Schmidt said in a statement.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field