The Portland Police Department recovered the “destructive devices” in a bag in Lownsdale Square Park across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse while investigating a shots fired call, police said. The discovery occurred as protesters and rioters continued to clash with federal agents protecting the courthouse.
Protesters lobbed fireworks, rocks, cans, and other objects at officers protecting the courthouse who have responded by using nonlethal weapons to control the crowd, The Associated Press reported.
The lights inside the courthouse have to be turned off for safety & the light from high-powered lasers bounced across the lobby almost all night. The fear is palpable. Three officers were struck in the last few weeks & still haven’t regained their vision. pic.twitter.com/33Mt2WyNsV— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) July 27, 2020
Protests in Portland have occurred for more than 55 consecutive days since the death of George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, video of the incident shows. Violence intensified, though, after President Donald Trump’s administration authorized the mobilization of federal agents, who are largely Department of Homeland Security officers, to help quell protests, according to The New York Times.
A federal judge denied Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblaum’s request for an order to stop federal agents from arresting Portland protesters Friday, NBC affiliate KGW News reported. Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke out against the use of federal agents at a protest Wednesday and was later tear-gassed.
Over the weekend, protests occurred in Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Oakland, California; Aurora, Colorado; and Richmond, Virginia, according to various media outlets. Many nationwide protests are organized in solidarity with Portland.
Trump authorized federal agents to be sent to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday to assist local police in responding to violence, according to U.S. News.
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