Federal Judge Denies Oregon Attorney General's TRO -- Day 57 of Portland Riots Much Like Groundhog Day Movie

AP Photo/Noah Berger

As night descended on the area around the Portland Federal Courthouse, the same scene played out as has been the case each night for the past week.  Approximately 3000 people gathered for a largely peaceful protest in the general vicinity of the Courthouse.  Here’s a new tactic employed by protesters — a “Wall of Vets” come to the front.


Yesterday Judge Michael Simon issued a TRO against the federal agents prohibiting them from directing any tear gas or non-lethal impact munitions towards members of the press.  So naturally tonight Antifa showed up wearing “PRESS” on their shirts and waiving around pieces of paper as if they were magic “Press Passes”.  Gee, I wonder why Judge Simon didn’t anticipate this.

Earlier today a different federal judge in Portland, District Court Judge Michael Mosman, issued a 15 page Opinion denying the application for a Temporary Restraining Order sought by Oregon Attorney General Emily Rosenblum related to a civil complaint she filed last Saturday.  The complaint — filed by her on behalf of all Oregon citizens based on her in parens patriae status in relationship to those citizens — alleged violations of the citizens First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution.  The factual allegations were that unknown federal agents, without names or insignias our their uniforms, and driving unmarked vehicles, were detaining and arresting Oregon citizens off the streets of Portland away from the federal courthouse, without probable cause.


In denying the TRO, Judge Mosman questioned whether the Attorney General had standing to bring the action she had brought.  The parens patriae status she claimed — meaning the government as legal protector of citizens — is rarely invoked, and likely inapplicable where, as here, citizens wrongly arrested or detained by federal agents could sue on their own behalf for violation of their civil rights.  Judge Mosman noted that the Attorney General could bring suit to vindicate a legal interest that is specific to the state itself, but the complaint filed by the Attorney General states no such claim.

The Court noted that no protester was a Plaintiff.  The Court noted that the lawsuit sought no remedy or damages on behalf of anyone claiming to have been harmed by the actions of the federal agents.  Instead the lawsuit the extraordinary remedy of prohibiting future law enforcement action by agents of the federal government.

The Opinion calls out the Oregon Attorney General for writing a complaint in a fashion that suggests numerous protesters have being seized off the streets of Portland, but in support of which at the time of the hearing the Attorney General was able to produce evidence of only two events.  There was evidence of a young man named Pettibone having been arrested and taken to the federal building, but he was never charged.  The evidence, however, was limited to a declaration by Pettibone as to what happened.  There was no evidence to corroborate his claims.


The Opinion next notes that the video of another arrest by federal agents offered by the Attorney General had no information as to context of the arrest — what had happened, if anything, prior to the person in the video being taken into custody.  The Judge noted that it could be the case that the law enforcement agents in the video were acting on probable cause — there was no evidence to lead to one conclusion or another on that issue.  Without any evidence of the context for the actions of the agents, the video was meaningless.

With the legalities settled for the day, and the evening’s “peaceful” activities taken care of, the Antifa/BLM agitators and rioters took over the scene at the Portland Federal Courthouse.

And …… a federal agent returns the favor.

But just like in previous nights, the agitators continue to dial up their antics in an effort to draw the federal agents into further clashes.


The use of powerful lasers in an effort to do permanent injury to the federal agents eyes is an increasingly common tactic.  This will eventually draw more aggressive federal agent response in the days ahead if it continues to gr

Here they use high powered flashlights to interfere with the federal agents’ ability to see the protesters.

Eventually, the federal agents are allowed to respond

As noted here, the rioters have no real interest in protesting anything.  Here they are shown impeding a Portland PD unit which has been dispatched to a stabbing incident.


In a positive development, earlier today the Department of Justice announced that the US Attorney’s office in Portland has charged 18 people with various offenses with regard to rioting activity on July 20, 21, and 22.  All were charged by way of criminal complaint, and should be indicted within 10 days.  Charges included assaulting a federal officer, arson, destruction of federal property, and refusing a comply with a lawful order, among other charges.


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