While the national manhunt for pro-Trump rioters continues – with over 540 suspects and 275 arrests so far – Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has been hard at work quietly dismissing dozens of felony and misdemeanor charges from last year’s Portland riots.
The excuse? The pandemic and a lack of funding.
Charges such as arson, assault on law enforcement officers and other violent crimes are being dropped like flies, many of them dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be brought back to court in the future, BizPacReview reports.
Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than a third of pending charges from the violent and destructive protests that took place in Portland throughout the summer. Some of the most serious charges that have been dropped include four defendants charged with assaulting a federal officer: a felony.
To be specific, 31 out of 90 protest cases were dismissed, despite the Department of Justice’s warning that there would be “consequences for acts of violence.”
But those aren’t final numbers. Apparently, more dismissals are in the works. Most of the defendants whose protest cases are still pending have seen their trials delayed and several people involved with the cases said they expect more federal charges to be dismissed in the coming weeks.
This warning was issued in September 2020: “Local residents and anyone traveling to Portland with the intent to commit violence are on notice. There will be consequences for acts of violence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting people who impede or assault law enforcement officers, damage federal property and set fire to buildings. Make no mistake: those who commit violence in the name of protest, will be investigated, arrested, prosecuted and face prison time.”
But, that warning appears to have been a facade.
Indeed, over the last several months Portland has arguably become the epicenter of destruction, violent riots and protests.
As a result of more than two months of near-nightly unrest, federal buildings in Oregon’s largest city suffered more than $2 million in damage.
Protesters gathered near the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in the city almost every night for weeks, clashing with police and counterprotesters. The nightly destruction almost always involved graffiti, broken windows, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails, according to Fox News.
Other damaged buildings include the Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Building, the Gus J. Solomon U.S. Courthouse, the Pioneer Courthouse and Portland’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building.
Yet, the perpetrators are getting off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, while protesters at the Capitol on January 6 face up to 20 years in prison.
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