Judge: Federal Officers Can't Use Force On Journalists In Portland - 2020-07-24
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, entered a temporary restraining order on Thursday that blocks federal law enforcement officers from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers as they respond to anti–police brutality protests there.
The Trump administration is facing multiple lawsuits challenging the federal response to the demonstrations in Portland, where protesters have reported that officers without identifying markers have been snatching people off the street. This is the first order that places a court-enforced restriction on the actions of law enforcement officers from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, which have been accused of making unlawful arrests and engaging in unconstitutional violence against demonstrators, journalists, and legal observers.
The legal team representing the journalists and legal observers, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, had submitted declarations to the court from individuals who said they were clearly marked as members of the press and complying with orders to move away from the federal courthouse in Portland when they were shot with "less than lethal" munitions, such as rubber and plastic bullets, by federal officers. At a hearing earlier on Thursday, Matthew Borden, a lawyer for the journalists and legal observers, argued that the uses of force against journalists were "acts of intimidation by a tyrant."