Oregon State Troopers Federally Deputized in Portland

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
September 2, 2020Updated: September 2, 2020

Oregon State Police (OSP) personnel sent to Portland in a renewed bid to end the unrest there have been federally deputized, a spokesman confirmed to The Epoch Times.

“Most of OSP resources assigned to Portland have been cross deputized by the U.S. Marshals” Service, Capt. Timothy Fox, the spokesman, said in an emailed statement on Sept. 2.

“OSP is not criticizing any officials and we respect the authority of the District Attorney, but to meet the Governor’s charge of bringing violence to an end we will use all lawful methods at our disposal.”

The service didn’t respond to an inquiry.

State police have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to review arrests made by troopers for potential prosecution.

Seventy-six people arrested in relation to Portland unrest have been charged on a federal level, a Department of Justice spokeswoman said this week. Approximately 774 arrests have been made since May 28, according to city and federal data reviewed by The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times Photo
Mike Schmidt, Multnomah County district attorney, speaks to reporters at City Hall one day after a man was shot dead, in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 30, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a new policy in August that guides prosecutors to presumptively decline to pursue some charges against those arrested during protests and riots, including disorderly conduct and interfering with officers.

The decision triggered the withdrawal of state troopers the next day, Fox told The Epoch Times. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, sent state police back to Portland over the weekend after a man was shot dead in the city.

Brown has turned down offers of federal assistance. She appealed to law enforcement agencies in adjacent counties to send personnel, an appeal rejected by sheriffs and a police department.

A spokesman for Schmidt’s office said he was looking into the deputization matter. Brown’s office didn’t return a request for comment.

oregon state trooper
An Oregon State Trooper arrests a man during rioting in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 30, 2020. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Brown told KOIN that some troopers were federally deputized during the earlier deployment.

Troopers “are committed to working with our community, with the goal of protecting free speech, keeping the peace, and keeping people safe as they exercise their right to peacefully protest,” the spokesperson said. “The U.S. Attorney and Multnomah County D.A. work together every day deciding which cases each will prosecute.”

The news of the deputization was first reported by Deborah Bloom, a freelance reporter.

According to federal law, the director of the U.S. Marshals Service is authorized to deputize a number of persons to perform the functions of a deputy U.S. Marshal. The persons include selected federal, state, or local law enforcement officers.

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