PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers will no longer protect the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, the agency confirmed Thursday.
“Last night was our last night in Portland,” Capt. Timothy Fox said in a statement.
State troopers, while working with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), first began monitoring activity outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse two weeks ago after Gov. Kate Brown made a deal with President Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw federal officers.
The deal came after nearly a month of escalating tensions and clashes between federal officers and protesters. Many of those nights ended with federal officers using tear gas.
Fox said OSP had a two-week commitment for increased presence outside the federal courthouse, which ended Wednesday night.
“We will continually assess our resources if our partners at PPB need OSP assistance,” Fox said.
“At this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” he said.
Earlier this week, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said his office wouldn’t prosecute protesters arrested for city ordinance violations unless they included property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person. Those city ordinance violations include interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer, disorderly conduct in the second degree, criminal trespass in the first and second degree escape in the third degree, harassment and riot (unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list).
Protests have continued nightly in Portland since OSP was called in to keep tabs on the federal courthouse. Demonstrations, some of which have been declared riots, were mostly elsewhere in the city though, such as the Portland Police Bureau East Precinct and the Portland Police Association headquarters in North Portland.
Protesters returned to the area outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center Wednesday night. A riot was declared after police say a group of people threw mortars, fist-sized rocks, bottles and cans of paint, injuring some officers. OSP said a trooper sustained a concussion and whiplash after being struck in the head. Two people were arrested.