PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Gov. Kate Brown has extended her executive order creating a Unified Command among law enforcement agencies in response to consecutive nights of violence and vandalism in Portland.
The order was first issued Monday and then extended Wednesday to last through Friday. It is now in place until 5 p.m. Sunday.
The purpose of the order, according to Brown, is to “keep the peace and protect free speech.” Under the order, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are put in joint command of public safety in Portland, with support from the Portland Police Bureau, and the National Guard on standby.
The National Guard was activated after a riot was declared due to widespread destruction in downtown Portland on Wednesday night. Buildings, including a church that provides outreach services for people in need, had windows smashed by rioters.
Deputies said a dozen people were arrested in connection with the riot. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said it is prosecuting some of the people arrested. Other cases remain under investigation and could be prosecuted at a later date.
The district attorney's office also said other cases could not be prosecuted because it did not receive police reports in time to make a charging decision.
Another unlawful assembly was declared in north Portland on Thursday night. The Unified Command reported that protesters damaged the home of Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan, after Ryan voted against a proposed city budget amendment that would have cut $18 million from the Portland Police Bureau budget.
Two people were arrested Thursday night in this case. Ryan’s home and neighborhood has been targeted four times in the past week, according to officers.
Later Thursday, a burning object was found at the door of City Hall downtown. That fire remains under investigation.
Regarding the extension of the Unified Command order, Brown said Friday, “As we enter the weekend, I am calling on Oregonians to express themselves peacefully. We have a long history of exercising our First Amendment rights in Oregon, but political violence, intimidation, and property destruction solve nothing."
Brown on Thursday noted that there are separate groups of people protesting in Portland, one doing so peacefully for racial justice, the other a “group of self-styled anarchist protesters… with no discernible goal other than to cause violence and vandalism.”
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