State police officers in Oregon have been federally deputized as Portland riots rage out of control and the local district attorney refuses to prosecute certain misdemeanors, according to reports.
Some Oregon State Police (OSP) officers have received cross-deputization from the U.S. Marshals Service, authorizing them to enforce federal law, while also enabling the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue charges against rioters who commit crimes against these officers or disobey their orders.
This means state troopers can now crack down on protestors in Portland knowing they’ll likely face harsher punishment from the US Attorney’s Office rather than the local DA.
— Deborah Bloom (@deborahebloom) September 1, 2020
“Oregon State Police are sending in federally deputized troopers to respond to protest-related violence in Portland — effectively circumventing the Multnomah County DA’s office, which OSP has criticized in the past for not prioritizing prosecutions,” independent journalist Deborah Bloom reported on Wednesday.
“This means state troopers can now crack down on protestors in Portland knowing they’ll likely face harsher punishment from the US Attorney’s Office rather than the local DA.”
Bloom reports an OSP spokesperson informed her the agency is “not criticizing any officials and we respect the authority of the District Attorney, but to meet the Governor’s charge of bringing violence to an end we will use all lawful methods at our disposal.”
The move was reportedly made in late July, but is now receiving more attention as the federal government increases pressure on state and local officials to put an end to surging violence and acts of domestic terrorism in Portland.
“They are still Oregon State Police,” a spokesman for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told KGW. “Some OSP troopers were federally deputized earlier this summer in order to be able to even enter the Hatfield Courthouse during their assignment downtown.”
“They are committed to working with our community, with the goal of protecting free speech, keeping the peace, and keeping people safe as they exercise their right to peacefully protest.”
Portland has been rocked by nearly 100 straight days of violent riots, arson, and a recent homicide.
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