SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With protests in Portland nearing the 100-day mark, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday called for an end to violence even as federal agents were continuing to arrest protesters who allegedly assaulted law enforcement officers.
Protests have erupted daily in the Pacific Northwest city since the killing of George Floyd. They are now are punctuated by clashes between Black Lives Matter demonstrators and far-right counter-protesters. One man who was a supporter of a far-right group called Patriot Prayer was shot dead last Saturday.
“The violence must stop,” Brown wrote. “There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon. All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable.”
The statement does not single out the small minority of left-wing protesters who have been setting fires, vandalizing buildings and throwing objects at police. But Brown’s spokesman, Charles Boyle, said it “is a collective call to action for an end to violence in Portland and affirms that those who commit violent acts must be held accountable.”
Brown’s condemnation of violence was also signed by almost two-dozen state and local politicians, a host of organizations including the local NAACP chapter, and professional sports teams like the Trailblazers NBA team, the Timbers soccer team and the Thorns women’s soccer team.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has denounced protesters who broke windows and set a fire this week to a business in the upscale apartment building where Mayor Ted Wheeler lives. Protesters are angry that Wheeler has not stopped officers from using batons and tear gas against Black Lives Matter protesters. Wheeler now reportedly plans to move out of the building.
Two people arrested by federal agents appeared in federal court on Thursday.
FBI agents arrested Hugo Ryan Berteau-Pavy, 26, of Portland, for civil disorder, a felony. The federal prosecutors said Berteau-Pavy allegedly aimed a laser at the eyes of law enforcement officers during a June 13 protest.
Also arrested was Eva Warner, 25, of Beaverton, Oregon, for the same offense that allegedly occurred on Aug. 8, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. Warner was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in a Portland apartment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Both were released pending further proceedings. The cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
As of a week ago, 74 people were facing federal charges for crimes allegedly committed during demonstrations in Portland since at least May 29, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said.
“Violent agitators have hijacked any semblance of First Amendment protected activity, engaging in violent criminal acts and destruction of public safety,” Williams said last week.
Meanwhile, a woman who says she was intentionally struck in the arm by a pickup truck sporting flags supporting police and President Donald Trump flags on Saturday has filed a $45,000 lawsuit against the truck’s driver, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.