Justice Dept. says 18 people facing federal charges after Portland protests

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Friday that 18 people are facing federal charges after several days of protests in Portland, Ore.

The DOJ said in court filings that the charges, stemming from demonstrations at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, include assaulting a federal officer, creating a disturbance, trespassing on federal property, failing to comply with a lawful order, damaging government property, arson and more.

All defendants are believed to be local residents and range in age from 18-45. They’ve all made their first appearances in court and were ordered released pending jury trials or other follow-up court proceedings.

The charges come after several consecutive nights of protests have rocked the city. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis in May when a white police officer pinned him down by his neck for nearly nine minutes. 

The Trump administration has adopted a tough stance on the protests, sending in federal law enforcement to quell the demonstrations. Criticism of the White House’s response has been heightened in recent days as video surfaced of officers clad in military gear arresting protesters and taking them way in unmarked cars, raising claims that the government was employing “secret police.” 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi says Trump decision to roll back fair housing rule is a ‘betrayal of our nation’s founding values’ Trump says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation Fauci says that he and his family have experienced ‘serious threats’ during pandemic MORE has expanded his response to the protests, announcing this week he’ll also send federal officials to Chicago and Albuquerque.

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