PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 77th consecutive night of protests in Portland took a sharp turn away from nightly clashes with law enforcement as just a few dozen people took to city streets and remained peaceful.
The Oregon State Police announced Thursday afternoon they were pulling out of protecting the Hatfield Federal Courthouse largely because they aren’t happy with the decision of the Multnomah County District Attorney to not prosecute most of those arrested.
In a statement, the Oregon State Police said: “The Oregon State Police is 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.”
Their decision comes less than a day after another riot was declared in downtown Portland. Tear gas was used and arrests made after hundreds gathered near the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center.
A few dozen people gathered at Peninsula Park on Thursday evening for a Mind Over Money event and marched through the neighborhood. According to the website Portland Black Lives Matter Events, the focus of the event was to discuss mental health within the Black community and is being put on by Black Unity PDX.
Another group gathered in Northwest Portland at Jameson Square around the same time. After listening to speakers for several hours, both groups had largely disappeared by 10:30 p.m.
The protest scene downtown looked vastly different than the previous night: some 50 people stood in SW 3rd Avenue to listen to some speeches delivered from the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center. Some of the crowd spilled out into the roads and blocked traffic, but police say they did not interact with protesters at all throughout the night.
The downtown group had largely disappeared by midnight.
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