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Peaceful Portland protesters will not be prosecuted to avoid 'irreparable harm,' DA announces

Portland prosecutors will not "leverage the full force of the criminal justice system" on protesters who gathered peacefully in the wake of George Floyd's de...

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 6:04 AM

Portland prosecutors will not "leverage the full force of the criminal justice system" on protesters who gathered peacefully in the wake of George Floyd's death, the district attorney said.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office will decline to prosecute cases against protesters in which the most serious offense does not include property damage, theft, threats or use of force against another person, District Attorney Mike Schmidt said Tuesday. Charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a public safety officer will be further scrutinized before prosecution, he said.

"If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society," Schmidt said.

Portland has been a site of ongoing demonstrations since Floyd's death in May in Minneapolis police custody, with large groups calling for an end to racial injustice and police brutality. Though the protests have been largely peaceful, protesters have clashed with police, and a demonstration over the weekend was declared a riot by Portland police.

"As prosecutors, we acknowledge the depth of emotion that motivates these demonstrations and support those who are civically engaged through peaceful protesting. We will undermine public safety, not promote it, if we do not take action to bring about immediate change," Schmidt said.

Offenses that include acts of intentional physical violence, such as assault and arson, will continue to be prosecuted under their prior policies, Schmidt said.

Protests escalated last month, local and state officials said, when the Trump administration sent federal agents to the city with the declared intent of protecting federal property.

Two weeks ago, the Trump administration reached an agreement with Oregon's Democratic governor to withdraw federal officers from downtown Portland, though the Department of Homeland Security said it will maintain a presence in the city until it believes federal locations there are secure.

Demonstrations have taken place each night for more than two months, police said

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Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

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Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
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Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
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