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Police Blocked From Arresting Media, Legal Observers in Portland Protests

The New York Post reports, a federal judge has blocked federal law enforcement officers deployed to Portland, Oregon, from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers at the violent protests.

U.S. Judge Michael Simon made his ruling late Thursday, a day after Portland’s mayor was tear-gassed by federal agents as he made an appearance outside a federal courthouse during raucous demonstrations. Protesters have gathered in Oregon’s largest city for nearly two months straight since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

A large crowd of demonstrators were out again Thursday night, chanting and holding signs near the federal courthouse.

The order also blocks federal law enforcement from seizing any photographic, audio and video recording equipment and press passes from journalists and legal observers, as well as from ordering them to stop recording or observing a protest.

“This order is a victory for the rule of law,” Jann Carson, ACLU of Oregon’s interim executive director, said in a statement.

“None of the government’s proffered interests outweigh the public’s interest in accurate and timely information about how law enforcement is treating” protesters, Simon wrote.

The order comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, on behalf of a group of legal observers and local journalists.