Feds deputize state police to help with Portland protests

The state troopers will work alongside Portland police in making arrests on state charges, officials said


The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Marshals Service earlier this summer deputized state troopers who were sent to Portland to help safeguard the downtown federal courthouse.

The deputization lasts for a year, according to the Marshals Service.

Oregon state troopers stand Thursday afternoon, July 30, 2020, behind the fence outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in downtown Portland. (Photo/Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive)
Oregon state troopers stand Thursday afternoon, July 30, 2020, behind the fence outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in downtown Portland. (Photo/Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive)

With state troopers now returning to assist Portland police in protest coverage, federal prosecutors can choose to pursue a charge of assault on a federal officer against anyone accused of attacking a state trooper during a protest.

This week, federal prosecutors also have started pursuing civil disorder charges against people accused of assaulting any police officer or firefighter during a riot or unlawful assembly.

The state troopers will work alongside Portland police in making arrests on state charges, as they’ve done in the past.

When necessary, they’ll also “protect and defend federal government buildings and personnel during a civil disturbance,” said Kevin Sonoff, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

It will be the U.S. Attorney’s Office that will evaluate all arrests made by state police and local police for potential federal prosecution, according to federal prosecutors.

Oregon State Police Capt. Timothy Fox said most of the state police assigned to Portland have been cross-deputized by the Marshals Service. He didn’t know how many state troopers would be assisting Portland police this time.

©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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