Phoenix Calida is on this story and we’ll be keeping ourselves up to date as we’re sure most of our other lefties are.
She’s reporting that there are no new developments as of 7/17/20 6:22pm CST
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said Monday that a Texas man has been charged with assaulting a U.S. Marshals Service deputy with a construction hammer during weekend protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland.
Jacob Michael Gaines, 23, a Texas man currently residing in a recreational vehicle in Portland, has been charged by criminal complaint with one count of assaulting a federal officer.
According to court documents, at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, Gaines was observed using a hammer to damage a barricaded entrance at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
At the time, federal law enforcement personnel were staged inside the courthouse to protect the facility and respond to incidents. Law enforcement attempted to exit the courthouse to prevent Gaines from breaching the barricaded entrance.
While attempting to detain him, Gaines struck a U.S. Marshals Service deputy three times with the hammer, Williams said. The deputy deflected the blows to prevent serious injury, but in the process was struck in the left shoulder, lower neck and upper back.
While being struck, the deputy managed to hold onto Gaines while other officers handcuffed him and placed him under arrest.
Gaines made his initial appearance in federal court Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was released pending further proceedings.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
For several weeks, the Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism during evening protests and riots, sustaining extensive damage.
U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection working to protect the courthouse have been subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators while performing their duties.
Federal officers respond to Portland protests with gas, munitions Thursday amid growing attention from Trump administration
A crowd of about 250 people remained and chanted, “Quit your job,” as songs by Beyoncé and Ice Cube played. Ice Cube had tweeted earlier Thursday about the federal police presence in Portland, labeling it the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” in response to an article about federal arrests by Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Protesters brought plastic lids lined with tin foil and held them up to shield themselves and reflect light back toward officers gathered at the building. Some people in the crowd also shined flashlights or lasers toward police.
A boisterous but nonviolent crowd continued to confront police past 11 p.m. The crowd had grown to 300 people and a pair of support vans, one supplying snacks and one providing medical care.
The interim head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was in Portland meeting with federal law enforcement officials on Thursday, the same day he issued a blistering public statement calling out “local political leaders” for their refusal “to restore order to protect their city.”
The message from Acting Secretary Chad Wolf condemned “the rampant long-lasting violence” in Portland.
Wolf’s nearly 1,700-word statement refers to Portland’s demonstrators as both “violent anarchists” and a “violent mob.”
Videos shared online show officers driving up to people, detaining them without explanation, then driving off, Oregon Public Broadcastingfirst reported.
Mark Pettibone, 29, told the Washington Post and OPB that he was among those protesters grabbed off the streets of Portland. Pettibone said he was heading home from a protest with a friend early Wednesday morning when several men in green military fatigues jumped out of an unmarked gray van.
“I was terrified,” Pettibone told the Post. “It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.”
He said officers placed him in a holding cell in a federal courthouse, where he was read his Miranda rights. After Pettibone, who did not respond to calls from USA TODAY, declined to answer questions, he was released, he told the Post.