Barriers return around Federal courthouse in Portland

Multnomah County

Fencing back up just days after removal

Barriers around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland have returned, (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Crews put back fencing around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland Sunday just days after they were removed following the latest slew of protests and vandalism on and around the building.

The barriers briefly went down on March 8 as a symbolic gesture to return the city to normalcy, federal officials told OPB.

The building was almost immediately vandalized during direct action demonstrations after the fencing was taken down last week.

KOIN 6 News has reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for more information.

When the fencing was originally put into place during last summer’s racial justice protests, then-Commissioner Chloe Eudaly noted they blocked a throughway and instituted daily fines until the barriers were removed.

But in October, after the Department of Homeland Security had racked up millions of dollars in fines — on paper — from two city bureaus irked by the iron barricade wrapped around the city’s federal courthouse, they announced they had no intention of paying.

In fact, Homeland Security said the financial penalties imposed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Bureau of Environmental Services are unlawful, citing an argument straight from a civics textbook: the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Department of Justice has had to cough up more than $1.5 million to repair damages to the courthouse, according to The Oregonian.

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