Oregon State Police said Thursday that they are pulling officers out of Portland as unrest continues. The announcement comes as the city’s district attorney released a statement that protesters would not be charged for rioting and most other offenses.
State police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies, and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” said Capt. Timothy Fox, spokesman for the Oregon State Police, according to Reuters.
Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown pushed back against the apparent claim that state police left over lack of prosecution, tweeting that state police withdrew because their agreement with the state ended.
As has been planned for the last two weeks, last night was the final night for @ORStatePolice to take responsibility for keeping the peace and protecting free speech around the federal courthouse building downtown.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) August 14, 2020
Fox later reiterated Brown’s point, saying Oregon State Police were withdrawing troops because of an agreement with the city, according to Willamette Week.
“This decision was based on the fact that our two-week commitment ended last night. Troopers are returning to the communities that they are assigned to serve and protect,” Fox said in an email to Willamette Week.
A local reporter in Portland said that Oregon State Police later “added context” to the original statement, which specifically mentions the two-week commitment, but also includes the language seemingly insinuating that “prosecution of criminal conduct” is not a “priority” in Portland.
Oregon State Police added context to its original statement about leaving downtown Portland. Here’s the full, update statement: pic.twitter.com/P9v3ftE7JI
— Kyle Iboshi (@KyleIboshi) August 14, 2020
The Daily Caller reached out to the Oregon State Police and received the same statement from Fox that Iboshi posted on Twitter.
State police were sent to Portland after Brown struck a deal with the Trump administration to withdraw federal troops from Portland, according to Reuters. Protesters and federal troops clashed in the city for days.
State police and protesters have also clashed. State police declared a riot Wednesday evening after protesters began throwing fireworks and other objects at the federal courthouse, which was once protected by federal troops, according to KATU2. Police previously declared other events as riots in Portland following the withdrawal of federal troops.
District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a retroactive policy Tuesday that protesters would only be charged if arrested for assault, theft or property damage in Portland. (RELATED: Portland DA Says Protesters Won’t Be Charged With Harassment, Rioting Under New Policy)
“We will undermine public safety, not promote it, if we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society,” Schmidt said, according to the official statement.
The DA will not prosecute protesters charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, interfering with a police officer or rioting unless accompanied by one of the three acceptable charges.
Schmidt also says charges will be dropped within three months if the charged individual pays for any damages to property or makes amends with the community.