Twenty-two people are facing federal charges after a weekend of violent riots in Portland, Oregon, the Department of Justice announced on Monday night.
Sixteen people were charged with assaulting federal officers and four with failing to obey lawful orders. A Canadian national was arrested for doxing federal employees. Another man was charged with operating a drone in restricted airspace.
The riots in Portland entered their second month this weekend, marked with nightly vandalism, looting, violence and arson. The rioters have focused their attention on the Hatfield Federal Courthouse, forcing face-offs with federal officers tasked with protecting the property.
Federal agents erected a fence to de-escalate the confrontations with the rioters, only to see the agitators return with power tools to cut down the barricade.
“The fence was put up so the peaceful protesters could focus on Black Lives Matter and racial justice. When the agitators, I'll call them, seek to break through the fence with those saws and power tools, then they’re seeking to come into the building and create the kind of destruction and danger that they did before the fence was up,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel told reporters on Saturday.
According to DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, 74 people have been arrested since the beginning of the unrest in the city. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request to clarify if the 22 arrests announced after Kupec’s update are part of the tally.
Agents from Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Ronald Bernard Hickey, 44, a Canadian national, for using his Twitter account to release the personal information of federal employees deployed in Portland, an intimidation practice commonly known as doxing.
Richard Lindstet, 33, was charged with operating a drone in restricted airspace.
Sixteen people are facing charges of assaulting a federal officers: Carly Anne Ballard, 34, David Michael Bouchard, 36, Rebecca Gonzales-Mota, 37, Stephen O’Donnell, 65, Thomas Johnson, 33, Nathan Oderdonk-Snow, 21, Joshua Webb, 22, Pablo Avvacato, 26, Doug Dean, 34, Michael Stephenson, 23, Caleb Willis, 29, Noelle Mandolfo, 30, Travis Williams, 27, Patrick Stanford, Coree Jefree and Tyler Gabriel, 22.
On a daily basis in Portland, peaceful protests begin during daytime and dissipate, only to be replaced with violent agitators. The two distinct events continue to generate controversy with media outlets conflating federal response to the violent rioters as having targeted peaceful protesters.
“It’s the very few of the crowd who come, not intent on doing anything with their voice, but intent on destruction and intent on confrontation, unfortunately, with federal police,” Gabriel said.
Federal authorities have said they will not leave the courthouse unprotected. Officers stationed at the property have said they see it as a symbol of justice for all people. The riots in Portland and elsewhere were triggered by the police-custody death of George Floyd on May 25.
“It ends when the community demands that it ends. And by that, I mean the violence. We’re not talking about ending peaceful protest, and people exercising their First Amendment rights, and the demands for systematic addressing of racial injustice within the criminal justice system, within the economic system. Those voices are being heard and have been heard since the murder of Mr. Floyd,” Gabriel said.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.