PORTLAND, OR—At 2:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24, protesters in Portland were met with flash-bangs and tear gas by federal agents who began to clear out the protesters after acts of vandalism and physical assaults directed at agents were reported.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May, Portland has seen consecutive protests each night with thousands of people gathering at the city’s federal courthouse. 

At the peak of the protests early Friday night, authorities reported an estimated 3,000 protesters present representing various activism groups, including Teachers Against Tyrants, Black Lives Matter, and the “Wall of Moms.” 

Later into the evening, protesters began throwing bottles at the police and shaking the fence in front of the courthouse in an attempt to gain access. Tear gas and flash-bangs from the federal agents were used and protesters used leaf blowers to send the tear gas back towards the agents. Once the tear gas cleared out, protesters regrouped and began chanting and shaking the fence again.

On July 17, Oregon state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued the federal government for a restraining order citing people being forcibly taken off the streets by agents in unmarked vehicles without probable cause and using excessive force.

LU.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled on July 24,the lawsuit lacked any standing because it was a “highly unusual one with a particular set of rules.” The state sued to stop any future excessive force by federal agents which made the standard for granting the motion narrow, and the state did not prove it had any standing in the case, Mosman wrote.

The Homeland Security acting secretary Chad Wolf denied federal agents were inflaming the situation in Portland stating the charges on the estimated 43 people that have been arrested by agents included assaulting federal officers, arson, and damaging federal property. All of those arrested were local residents who were later released after making a court appearance.