Three Federal Officers Might Be Permanently Blind Due to Portland Rioters


Three federal officers were injured in a Monday night confrontation in Portland, Oregon, and may not recover their vision after rioters shined lasers in their eyes.

The confrontation occurred outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, where over 1,000 protesters were gathered.

Richard Cline, deputy director of operations at the Federal Protective Service, said at a news conference Tuesday that the crowd removed the plywood covering protecting the federal building and then tried to throw objects and fireworks through the windows at the officers inside.

Rioters also shined lasers into the eyes of officers, set fires nearby and vandalized other buildings with graffiti.

“Protesters advanced towards, engaged the officers, again throwing water bottles and other hard objects, fireworks and using lasers,” Cline said.

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“We have three officers who currently have eye injuries, and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks.”

The agency had to purchase anti-laser glasses to prevent future eye injuries.

Federal officers’ names would also be removed from their uniforms and replaced with badge numbers because approximately 38 law enforcement officers had been doxed, according to Cline.

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The officers responded to the attacks by deploying pepper balls and tear gas, Fox News reported.

Earlier on Monday, federal officers saw someone taking pictures of the water intake system at the Edith Green Federal Building.

Someone later tweeted, “So we can now shut off the water to the buildings the feds are staying in to make it a nightmare for them,” according to Cline.

In a July 16 statement, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf criticized the “violent mob” and “lawless anarchists” who have taken over Portland.

“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice — to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community,” he said.

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“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them.”

Rioters and federal officers also clashed Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in downtown Portland on the city’s 54th into its 55th straight day of unrest.

On Tuesday night, rioters who reportedly brought crowbars and other tools with them tried to dislodge plywood surrounding the federal courthouse, briefly breaching the barrier at about 11 p.m. before authorities, including federal agents, responded in back-and-forth action that continued into early Wednesday.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith