PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- A notable change in the crowd of protesters in Downtown Portland after the first night Oregon State troopers stepped in for federal officers.

The change took place Thursday night, as part of a deal Governor Kate Brown made with the federal government to withdraw Customs and Border Protection and ICE officers in an attempt to de-escalate nightly protests.

Fox 12's Drew Marine gives firsthand account of what she says is the calmest night of protests downtown she's seen:

"I've covered a few nights of protests while federal officers were involved, but Thursday night I didn't see any officers come out to interact with protesters.

In the nights I've been downtown, Thursday night was the most peaceful I've seen the crowd.

There were a few incidents where protesters set off a firework or two near the courthouse or started a small fire - but that fire I saw was almost immediately put out by protesters.

About a thousand people showed up Thursday night for another night of protests downtown. With Oregon State Police slated to step in for federal officers at the courthouse, we were unsure what to expect from the crowd - and for that matter, Oregon State Police.

OSP said their role was to bring down the protests' temperature, so it was a waiting game to see how the night would play out.

Before the night began, protesters told us they were unsure if OSP's presence would truly help de-escalate protests.

“Same people different suit," a protester named Polar said.

Around 9 p.m., the night started off with several hundred people drawn to the powerful speakers in front of the Justice Center who were leading chants and sharing stories.

“It’s easier to come together and be this one big fist, but there are more of us who need to come peaceful protest,” one speaker said to the crowd.

The crowd that listened intently to the speakers eventually drifted over to the courthouse around 10:15 p.m., where individual speakers had megaphones leading chants and having conversations with the crowd.

One woman said, “We’re making history."

At one point, a man used his skateboard to bang on the fence but was immediately lectured by other demonstrators to stop. This was just one of many instances Thursday night where we saw protesters step in to de-escalate things and urged people to be peaceful.

We also saw a small fire set behind the fence but before we could pull our camera up to record it, the fire was already put out by protesters.

By 11 p.m. on previous nights, we'd normally see protesters getting more amped up - pointing lasers at officers, throwing trash over the fence and setting off more fireworks directed at the courthouse.

In response to that, we would also typically hear federal officers warn protesters and eventually see them come out from the courthouse to use tear gas on the crowd.

But Thursday night was different.

From 11 p.m. until we left at 1 a.m., protesters kept up the momentum by chanting, having conversations and remaining peaceful- something protesters earlier in the day were hoping for.

“The Black Lives Matter movement is not about going in and destroying property. The real BLM movement is about equality for black people first and foremost and overall, just everyone," a protester named Polar said.

In those last two hours we were there, we heard what seemed to be glass bottles thrown over the fence onto the empty sidewalk, but after that we didn't see or hear anything else get thrown over the fence.

We left at 1:00 a.m. and had seen no officers come out of the building to interact with protesters and no tear gas had been used for what seems to be the first night in at least a week.

We saw several people prepared with gas masks, home-made shields and umbrellas - all tools they've used previously to bang against the fence and protect themselves from pepper balls and tear gas.

Some protesters we spoke with said they were relieved to get a break from the tear gas and chaos we normally see and focus on why the protests started in the first place - to stand with the Black Lives Matter movement."

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(8) comments

Just curious

[scared]Why do these nuts have to protest/riot at bedtime?

lanquan

Without Trump's intervention the violence would still continue! He brought the insanity that Wheeler, Brown and Hardesty..oh and Wyden and Merkley allowed to go on for 55+ days to the world. The pressure and indignation expressed by people all over asking why Portland and Oregon's politicians didn't act before the Federal Officers taking the fight to the streets showed what absolute circus clowns we have on office. I'm so glad other folks witnessed first hand the complete failure of our "elected" twits!

Erik Erlow Eeckhart

Protesters being peaceful = no reason for law enforcement to act. Who would of thought that? I guess when you don't throw a firebomb at an officer, you won't be arrested. Gee willy

Insomn

We all know the fed's had nothing to do with anything! That this had nothing to do with Trump. That Brown and Wheeler made it a political stunt. Since they BOTH could have ended this violence a long time ago. That they let it get completely out of control, then told the officers they couldn't stop violent protesters, told the officers they couldn't use tear gas, told the officers they couldn't stop rioters at the court house, etc. That Brown and Wheeler stopped all agencies from breaking up the camps. Till Brown felt like ending it to pretend the feds where responsible. We all know she conspired to make this all happen and there should be an investigation into her utter corruption on this matter. She willfully let countless people be injured, cost tax payers millions, resulted in businesses being shutdown right after just getting back on their feet from covid, lied to the people of Oregon, issued orders fully knowing that it would lead to harm/injury, aided in organized attacks on the federal government, and i'm sure a lot more.

Delta Bravo

Quieting down now that unemployment is running out.

Eliza Cassan

It seems that some are policing themselves, which is better than nothing, but I wonder how long that will last.

nativepdx

If the peaceful protesters were really peaceful, they would have stopped the rioter on day one.

Just curious

[thumbup] True.

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