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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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August 01, 2020

       Time will tell the results.  The Oregon State Police on Thursday will take over the duties of guarding a federal courthouse in Portland that has become a flashpoint during weeks of protests that have turned violent.  The state troopers will not be dressed in riot or tactical gear like the federal agents previously stationed at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, police Superintendent Travis Hampton said. "It is obvious the current strategy is not sustainable and has the high probability of serious injury or death, as officers and community members clash," Hampton said in a statement to Fox News. "OSP hopes to de-escalate the tensions around the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, facilitating peaceful free speech and proportional response if criminal activity is observed."
   
     The withdrawal of federal forces came after an agreement was reached between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the Trump administration, which cited growing unrest and lawlessness in its decision to deploy agents to cities across the country.  Brown has "made clear that her goal is to deescalate the nightly confrontations we have seen downtown since federal troops arrived in Portland," a spokesperson for the governor told the Oregonian.

     Many critics of the federal intervention have voiced concerns over the response of agents to the protests and the inability to decipher their identities or what agency they are with. Authorities have engaged nightly in violent confrontations with demonstrators. In addition, buildings near the courthouse have been vandalized and set fire, including the Portland Justice Center.

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