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US attorney for Oregon blasts Portland officials in blistering interview: 'Nonsensical, political theater'


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WestVirginiaRebel
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Oregon's U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams told The Oregonian over the weekend that Portland officials were engaged in "nonsensical, political theater" by banning city police from working with federal law enforcement and swore that the federal government would not be abandoning any of the federal buildings in the city.

"Anyone who thinks we’re just going to give up the courthouse, Hatfield, Pioneer (Courthouse) or any other federal facility downtown, that’s not going to happen," Williams said in the interview, according to the paper. "We’re not leaving."

For two full months, protesters have demonstrated nightly outside Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, attempting to set the courthouse on fire, vandalizing the building, and throwing knives and using fireworks against federal law enforcement sent to defend the building. The unrest has come as similar protests have raged around the country, aimed ostensibly at bringing about racial justice and defunding police departments in the wake of the death of George Floyd in late May while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

The protests have been especially politically charged in Portland, with accusations that federal agents are making unjustified arrests of protesters in unmarked vans. Civil rights groups have called the incidents "kidnapping." Williams requested an inspector general probe into the incidents and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said that the agents were identified with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) insignia during the alleged encounters, but that their names were not on their uniforms due to doxing attempts against the officers.

Meanwhile, Democratic politicians, amid nightly violence, have slammed the federal government for its actions and insisted that the protests are largely peaceful.

"Portland, Ore., is not out of control," Rep Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said on the House floor last week. "To be sure, there are some people who have strong feelings and there are some who have done things that are inappropriate and unlawful. But that is the challenge of our local officials and our state officials to manage it. Not having somebody unwelcome, uninvited and unprepared coming to take this difficult situation and make it worse."

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