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Journalists And Legal Observers Exempt From Arrest, Force In Portland, Federal Judge Rules

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Federal agents can not arrest or use physical force towards journalists and other legal observers at protests in Portland, Oregon, a federal judge ruled Thursday night.

Judge Michael Simon’s ruling will be in effect for 14 days, and journalists and observers are required to wear identification, the Associated Press reported. (RELATED: ‘Pigs Go. Home!’: Thousands Gather In Portland For Another Night Of Protests)

“None of the government’s proffered interests outweigh the public’s interest in accurate and timely information about how law enforcement is treating” protesters, Simon wrote, according to the AP.

Oregon ACLU Interim Executive Director Jann Carson said in a statement, “This order is a victory for the rule of law.”

An earlier ruling by Simon exempted journalists and observers from police orders to evacuate after declaring unlawful assembly, the AP reported. However, federal lawyers interceded and said journalists should have to obey police orders to disperse, the AP reported.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued federal agents, accusing them of using excessive force, making arrests without probable cause, and detaining protesters in unmarked vehicles, the AP reported. Federal authorities contested the accusations.

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