Portland, Oregon, prosecutors announced last week that they are charging nearly a dozen suspected members of Antifa with crimes related to a nearly year-long campaign of violence in the city’s downtown — but the charges stem from the group’s attack on a Democratic party headquarters the night of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, not the earlier, more destructive riots.
“On Thursday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against 10 suspects following several grand jury indictments,” the New York Post reported.
Three of those charged were allegedly part of a “black-clad mob” that attacked the Multnomah County Democrats’ downtown office on election day as part of a “direct action” effort per the New York Post. Another six were charged with crimes related to an attack on the Democratic Party of Oregon’s office on President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day.
“Holding a banner featuring a Kalashnikov rifle that read, ‘We don’t want Biden — We want revenge,’ the group of Antifa marched to the Democratic Party of Oregon building where they started a fire on the street and smashed the building’s windows,” the outlet added. “Arrestees were found carrying knives, batons, and crowbars.”
At least one of those charged is a “serial arrestee,” and another is “charged with four counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device at the Jan. 20 riot” — the most series of the nearly one dozen indictments.
A local Portland rap artist ‘who regularly attends protests and riots in Portland” was also “arrested in the early hours of May 29 after a warrant was issued on charges of felony second-degree attempted assault, felony first-degree burglary, felony unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of felony first-degree criminal mischief,” related to a separate riot in April.
As the Post notes, the charges are a “180-degree turn” for Multnomah County’s District Attorney Mike Schmidt who, last year, refused to prosecute “90 percent of riot and protest-related cases,” because, he told local media, “when you look historically at this nation, it’s during these protests when we’ve gotten some of the changes that we are proudest of in our nation’s history. And sometimes it took some property damage. It took more than just peaceful protests to get the government’s attention. I’m very mindful of that.”
In August of last year, Schmidt’s office made that policy official, announcing that his office would not “pursue demonstrators accused of interfering with police, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, escape or harassment if the allegations don’t involve ‘deliberate’ property damage, theft or force against another person or threats of force,” according to Oregon Live.
A report from the Daily Wire last October put that number at around 70%, based on data released by the prosecutor’s office.
Federal prosecutors also dropped charges leveled against many of those “anarchist” rioters arrested by federal agents during a brief period in the summer of 2020, when then-President Donald Trump sent in federal agents to protect Portland’s federal courthouse from nightly arson attacks.
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