Three federal officers were injured in a Monday night confrontation in Portland, Oregon, and may not recover their vision after rioters shined lasers in their eyes.
The confrontation occurred outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, where over 1,000 protesters were gathered.
Richard Cline, deputy director of operations at the Federal Protective Service, said at a news conference Tuesday that the crowd removed the plywood covering protecting the federal building and then tried to throw objects and fireworks through the windows at the officers inside.
Rioters also shined lasers into the eyes of officers, set fires nearby and vandalized other buildings with graffiti.
“Protesters advanced towards, engaged the officers, again throwing water bottles and other hard objects, fireworks and using lasers,” Cline said.
“We have three officers who currently have eye injuries, and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks.”
The agency had to purchase anti-laser glasses to prevent future eye injuries.
Federal officers’ names would also be removed from their uniforms and replaced with badge numbers because approximately 38 law enforcement officers had been doxed, according to Cline.
Should Portland’s mayor do more to control these rioters?
The officers responded to the attacks by deploying pepper balls and tear gas, Fox News reported.
Earlier on Monday, federal officers saw someone taking pictures of the water intake system at the Edith Green Federal Building.
Someone later tweeted, “So we can now shut off the water to the buildings the feds are staying in to make it a nightmare for them,” according to Cline.
“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice — to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community,” he said.
“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them.”
Rioters and federal officers also clashed Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in downtown Portland on the city’s 54th into its 55th straight day of unrest.
On Tuesday night, rioters who reportedly brought crowbars and other tools with them tried to dislodge plywood surrounding the federal courthouse, briefly breaching the barrier at about 11 p.m. before authorities, including federal agents, responded in back-and-forth action that continued into early Wednesday.
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