Since President Biden took office, the Department of Justice has dismissed more than one-third of cases against rioters from last summer “despite warnings there would be ‘consequences for acts of violence,’” according to KGW.
“Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than one-third of cases stemming from last summer’s violent protests in downtown Portland when protesters clashed with federal agents,” KGW reported Wednesday. “KGW reviewed federal court records and found 31 of the 90 protest cases have been dismissed by the U.S. Department of Justice, including a mix of misdemeanor and felony charges.”
“Some of the most serious charges dropped include four defendants charged with assaulting a federal officer, which is a felony. More than half of the dropped charges were ‘dismissed with prejudice,’ which several former federal prosecutors described as extremely rare. ‘Dismissed with prejudice’ means the case can’t be brought back to court,” they continued.
Last summer, rioters in Portland cost the city over $23 million in damages and resulted in dozens of officers being injured by rioters.
According to an October 2020 report, District Attorney Mike Schmidt dropped charges on nearly 70% of those arrested in the riots. Then-Attorney General William Barr in the Trump administration directed federal prosecutors to pursue cases that Schmidt neglected to pursue, which is apparently not the policy under the Biden administration.
“The dismissal of protest cases runs counter to the tough talk coming from the U.S. Department of Justice last summer. Billy Williams, then-U.S. Attorney for Oregon, vowed there would be consequences for the nightly graffiti, fires and vandalism outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse,” KGW reported.