By Adam Sarsfield
After the death of George Floyd, the people of America unified to fight the discrimination and racial profiling of African American community went into an enraged state toward police officers, government officials, and the President. In general, most people demanded justice by going out and protesting for it. Most protests started and ended on a peaceful note, however some gatherings attract people who wish to start chaos and aim that chaos with an intent to hurt any and all officers. Portland is a good place to bring up when talking about how different protests can get overtime. On the 29th of May, Portland police declared the gathering to be a riot. Police moved towards taking down every rioter in their reach. Many videos have arisen showing Portland PD clashing with rioters, although they never show more than a couple of minutes; The issue with videos is that they can be manipulated to assist or raze opinions of political, moral, and lawful situations that occur.
Within the first couple days of the riots, everything seemed somewhat under control. The tension was at a standstill with no one daring to overstep. The news about the Portland protest and riots could be unknown to a lot of individuals. The media tends to ignore the peaceful protests, often because calm demonstrations happen during the day and evening times – whilst the more violent and uncontrolled “protests” take place during the night. There are many videos showing tear gas, smoke grenades, and other riot control devices being fired upon, tossed, and set off near rioters. The far-left have shown negative responses to this, ranging from outrage to death threats. Yet some have given an opposite reaction to this and supported the decision to use riot stratification. After a while, the news lost the energy and fire so it seemed like an out of control inferno.
This all changed when President Trump ordered a large number of federal agents to protect a federal courthouse. According to Wikipedia, “At the start of July, forces from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Federal Protection Service arrived in Portland.” This resparked the fire between the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and rioters against the police – and now federal agents. The riots and destruction hit an all-time high for the city and the protest.
However, when poking a snake it’ll bite back, and bite back it did. Every night, agents would surge into the streets to arrest and subdue everyone they could. This happened for weeks, and soon enough, the violence escalated to the rioters throwing makeshift pipe bombs, explosives, and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device). Many rioters were arrested and charged with very serious crimes. After some time and consideration, the District Attorney decided to not press charges on any crimes like interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer, second-degree disorderly conduct, first and second-degree criminal trespass, third-degree escape, harassment, and riot – unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list.
Over a week of discussions and negotiations, President Trump and the state of Oregon have come to an agreement. They’re removing most agents from the state, but keeping hundreds of reinforcements if any major damage is done to the courthouse again or they come close to it. So far the entire city is staying true to their end, and the agents have been kept away. But with no end to the riots in sight, no one can predict what will happen in the future.