Just two days after Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced her strategy for not-really dealing with the continuous riots that have enveloped Portland, one of her cornerstone law enforcement agencies has just been deputized as federal officers. The Oregon State Police, who partnered with the Portland Police Bureau for a couple of weeks until Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt announced he’d be dropping charges on most of the arrested terrorists, are, for the time being, federal agents.
The story was first broken by freelance writer Deborah Bloom.
This means state troopers can now crack down on protestors in Portland knowing they’ll likely face harsher punishment from the US Attorney’s Office rather than the local DA.
— Deborah Bloom (@deborahebloom) September 1, 2020
KOIN 6 reports:
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Oregon State Police troopers responding to the ongoing protest-related unrest in Portland have been federally deputized, state police confirm.
State police tell KOIN 6 News they’re working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to review arrests made by troopers assigned to Portland for potential prosecution. The troopers assigned to Portland have been cross-deputized by the U.S. Marshals.
“OSP is not criticizing any officials and we respect the authority of the [Multnomah County] District Attorney, but to meet the Governor’s charge of bringing violence to an end we will use all lawful methods at our disposal,” an Oregon State Police spokesperson said.
It is unclear at this time whether all arrests made by deputized state police troopers will be prosecuted on a federal level or if assaults on troopers at protests will result in charges of assault on a federal officer. KOIN 6 News has reached out for further clarification.
“They are committed to working with our community, with the goal of protecting free speech, keeping the peace, and keeping people safe as they exercise their right to peacefully protest,” a spokesperson for Kate Brown said in a statement, adding, “The U.S. Attorney and Multnomah County D.A. work together every day deciding which cases each will prosecute.”
The news of state police troopers being deputized by U.S. Marshals, which was first reported by freelance journalist Deborah Bloom, came a day after sheriffs from surrounding counties declined to send in deputies to help Multnomah County and the Portland Police Bureau after Gov. Brown outlined a law enforcement plan to respond to the unrest.
So what does this mean on a practical level? Law Enforcement Today explains:
What will most likely occur is that deputized troopers will be taught what can and cannot be charged federally.
Once any potential federal charges are identified, the deputized troopers will have to build a case packet and present it to the Assistant US Attorney that would be handling those cases.
If the AUSA approves of the federal charges, the US Marshals will then adopt the case and pursue criminal warrants for the people to be charged.
It is a surprising twist that the State Troopers have decided to go this route and work directly with members of federal law enforcement given Democratic Governor Kate Brown’s stance on federal assistance. When President Donald Trump offered to bring in assistance, she flatly turned it down.
A spokesperson for Brown said that a select number of troopers had already been deputized in order for them to work and enter the Mark O Hatfield federal courthouse.