A Portland man was charged on Tuesday for arson aimed at the city's Justice Center. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a mandatory sentence of 5 years.
Edward Thomas Schinzing was charged with intentionally setting fire to the Justice Center on May 29. He appeared in federal court for the first time on Tuesday, and will now await further court proceedings.
The Justice Center, which houses the Multnomah County Detention Center and the Portland Police Bureau headquarters, is owned by Multnomah County and the City of Portland.
Court documents say the 32-year-old Schinzing entered the Corrections Records Office near the northwest corner of the facility with a group of rioters, totaling about 30 people, around 11 p.m. through windows that several people had broken.
After some employees of the office fled for safety, the rioters spray-painted parts of the office, damaged various items including computers and other office equipment and furniture, and started fires, the documents said, citing surveillance videos and photos of the incident.
Oregon’s top federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams, announced in a release that Schinzing was identified after comparing the surveillance footage with a jail booking photo and a distinctive tattoo of his last name across his upper back.
Schinzing was captured on video spreading fire in the office by lighting papers on fire and moving the lit papers into a drawer of a cubicle.
The building's fire sprinkler system activated and put out the fires by 11:08 p.m., around the time that police arrived and took over the area.
Rioters have been targeting government properties amid weeks of violent protests in the city since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
U.S. Attorney Williams on Monday condemned the riots, saying that the nightly violence "cannot continue."