PORTLAND, Ore. – At approximately 5:30am today, federal law enforcement officers arrived at the federal building at 4310 SW Macadam Avenue in Portland and dismantled obstacles blocking access to the facility.
“Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are sacred rights enjoyed by all Americans and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting these rights. However, when individuals break the law by blocking employees and the public from accessing a federal facility, federal law enforcement will respond to restore normal business operations,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
“Federal law enforcement officers were able to effectively remove the demonstrators and blockades from in front of the entrances to the facility,” said L. Eric Patterson, Director of the Federal Protective Service. “We will continue to maintain a presence at the facility to ensure a safe reopening and enable employees and the public to safely conduct business at the facility.”
Seven demonstrators were taken into federal custody for failing to comply with directions given by law enforcement officers and blocking the building’s entrances. These violations are Class C misdemeanors under 41 C.F.R. § 102. The demonstrators were temporarily detained and cited by the Federal Protective Service, and then released. All were ordered to appear on the charges before a federal magistrate judge on September 7, 2018, in Portland.
An eighth individual was temporarily detained by federal law enforcement officers after approaching a police line in his vehicle. Shortly after the law enforcement operation began, the individual was spotted in a black SUV traveling near the federal facility. After spotting what appeared to be two rifles in the backseat of the vehicle, officers made contact with the individual and detained him without incident. Three airsoft guns were found in the vehicle. The individual was later released without being charged.
Beginning on June 25, 2018, demonstrators were issued four written and one verbal warning stating that it is unlawful to obstruct a federal facility. 41 C.F.R. § 102-74.390 and § 102-74.450 prohibit the obstruction of entrances, foyers, lobbies, corridors, offices, and parking lots of federal facilities.
Federal law does not restrict demonstrators from gathering on non-federal property adjacent to a federal facility. However, demonstrators are encouraged to review and adhere to all applicable state laws and local regulations.
Press Release from U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon