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Federal Agents in Portland: ‘I am Worried for My Life, Every Time I Walk Outside of the Building’

Federal Agents in Portland: ‘I am Worried for My Life, Every Time I Walk Outside of the Building’

Federal agents in Portland hit by fireworks, have concussions from hammers, and blindness from lasers.

An Associated Press reporter spent the weekend inside the federal courthouse in Portland, OR. It’s peaceful during the day as protestors stand outside the courthouse.

But every night, rioters descend upon the courthouse in the name of social justice. Federal agents charged with protecting the building now fear for their lives.

Mike Balsamo spent his time inside the courthouse. His colleague Gillian Flaccus stayed outside the fence that protects the courthouse.

The Constitution protects your natural right to peacefully assemble, not riot and destroy property or attack people. Here’s the thing: You attack someone then they will fight back.

These people do not think they are doing anything wrong:

Monica Arce gyrated to the music and waved her cell phone flashlight in the air with hundreds of others. The professional midwife had left her 14-year-old son at home and joined her sister-in-law, a teacher, to protest the presence of the federal agents and to support Black Lives Matter.

“We are not here being violent or being destructive. We have a positive message — there is nothing to quell here,” she said, referencing Trump’s statement that the agents were there to quell unrest. “The people of Portland are saying, ‘We don’t want this presence here and we don’t think we need them at all.’”

At the same time, rioters “circulated in the crowd, stopping every few minutes to point green laser beams in the eyes of agents posted as lookouts on porticoes on the courthouse’s upper stories.”

Then someone set off a firework. Another used “an angle grinder to eat away at the fence.” Rioters threw whatever they could grab: “rocks, cans of beans, water bottles, potatoes and rubber bouncy balls that cause the agents to slip and fall.”

The agents at the fence “fired the first tear gas of the night.”

A young woman insisted the people “are still playing defense” so we should consider their actions “a defensive maneuver.” She also denounced the use of “chemical warfare.”

Agents inside the courthouse sit in the dark as a way to protect themselves. Fireworks set off outside shook the walls. The green lasers caused agents to move around as they tried to sleep:

The Federal Protective Service, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were tired and frustrated. They didn’t want to confront the crowd; they just wanted to go home. For weeks, the chaos at the courthouse had flipped their sleep schedules, turned their family lives upside down and left them scared each night that they would be hit by a firework or flare or blinded by a laser. Many were sent from out of town to reinforce the local agents — some are members of an elite Border Patrol tactical team sent in as reinforcements. But others were already stationed there and said they had chosen to live in the Portland area and call it home.

A senior U.S. Marshals Service official noted that social media allows the rioters to frame the narrative in their favor:

“They can put out 10 seconds of something (on social media) that unfolded over several minutes, and those are the 10 seconds that look bad for us, whereas the rest of it would look bad for everybody,” he said, speaking of the protesters. “They use what serves their narrative.”

Federal agents endured many injuries:

The firework came whizzing over the fence so fast that the agent didn’t have time to move.

It exploded with a boom, leaving his hearing deadened and bloody gashes on both forearms. Stunned, with help from his cohorts, he stripped to his boxer shorts and a black T-shirt so his wounds could be examined and photographed for evidence.

He told his fellow agents he was more worried about his hearing than about the gouges and burns on his arms.

By the end of the night, five other federal agents would be injured, including another who got a concussion when he was hit in the head with a commercial-grade firework. One agent was hospitalized. Several agents have lingering vision problems from the lasers.

After each night of protest, they seize dozens of homemade shields, slingshots, blocks of wood and chunks of concrete.

“My friends have been hit in the head with hammers. I know people who have been shot with fireworks. It’s disgusting,” said the Deputy U.S. Marshal who’s been at the courthouse for weeks. “I’ve never thought I’d have to walk around in my office building wearing a gas mask to go sit in front of my computer.”

Another said:

“It’s scary. You open those doors out, when the crowd is shaking the fence, and … on the other side of that fence are people that want to kill you because of the job we chose to do and what we represent,” said a Deputy U.S. Marshal who has been protecting the courthouse for weeks. He requested anonymity because protesters have identified him and posted his personal information online.

“I can’t walk outside without being in fear for my life,” he said. “I am worried for my life, every time I walk outside of the building.”

A bonfire started at 2:30 a.m. Rioters used it to shoot fireworks through the fence to the agents. Then someone fired a mortar, but it didn’t injure anyone.

It died down as the sun rose in the sky:

“I finally get outside at 7 a.m., after being in the building since 3 p.m. the day prior, and I look east and I’m like, ’Oh, the world’s normal over there and people are driving to work and the city is clean and functioning,” said the Deputy U.S. Marshal. “And I look out on the street and it looks like downtown Baghdad.”


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Dantzig93101 | July 27, 2020 at 11:10 am

The riots do not organize themselves. Remove the funders and the instigators. It’s inconceivable that the government doesn’t know who they are.

I have a very simple solution, go into the cities power distribution, communications and water and natural gas distribution centers and shut them down.

The bricks and molatov cocktails are peaceful

Agents, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has your back. She has it covered with a shiv.

The Democrats are complicit in an attempt to destroy Liberty.

    Liberty Bell in reply to dystopia. | July 27, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Perhaps ole Joe Biden will cover your backs with one of his shotguns.

    objection in reply to dystopia. | July 27, 2020 at 11:26 am

    We are now moving into the Armed Insurrection phase with Mayors, District Attorneys and Judges looking the other way.

    This is more frightening than the Vietnam era protests. Local officials were not complicit.

    Unknown3rdParty in reply to dystopia. | July 28, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I thought it was covered with a Kente cloth …

johnny dollar | July 27, 2020 at 11:31 am

Someone, and I don’t remember who, suggested that all Federal facilities in Portland be closed. This would include the Post Office, the Courthouse, Social Security, and every other Federal agency.
Residents of Portland would be told that, since the municipal government cannot or will not control the angry mobs laying waste to their city, they will have to travel to a remote location, perhaps in Idaho, to do their federal business.
This would force the idiots in Portland who elected these morons to confront the idiocy of their own bad decision making.

The anarchists are pushing for another Kent State. They know that if they get another Kent State then millions of demonstrators will be out on the street just as I was in 1970. The tired Federal officers must be given a break and all officers must know that they cannot use deadly force.

    Milhouse in reply to Gersh204. | July 27, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Can someone explain what exactly was wrong with Kent State?

      Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      It made Neil Young write a sappy song about it that everyone had to listen to for the next 50 years.

      Two of the dead students-Scheuer and Schroeder-were 100 yds away and were part of a crowd of students watching the demonstration. Schroeder, I believe, was an ROTC cadet.

        Milhouse in reply to Perfesser33. | July 27, 2020 at 6:18 pm

        So what was wrong with Kent State was poor aim? The fact that there was unnecessary collateral damage?

          gibbie in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

          The fact that all the damage was unnecessarily collateral. It was a tragedy for all concerned.

          I think we might want to reconsider the wisdom of concentrating large numbers of adolescents in a small area with essentially no adult supervision.

          Oh Millie, I’m disappointed by your snarky comment. You don’t pull the trigger unless you know what you’re aiming at and what will happen if you miss. Gun Safety 101. Would you be so callous if it were your daughter Scheuer or your son Schroeder who were collateral damage of bad aim? Also the Ohio National Guard in the weeks before Kent State were assigned to ride “shotgun” to protect truckers who were driving on Ohio roads in spite of a bitter truckers strike. There were several instances of the truckers and the guardsmen coming under fire. In NONE of those instances did the OHG return fire. The Kent State students may have tossed nasty stuff at the OHG, but they didn’t toss bullets.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2020 at 10:38 pm

          There’s no difference between “nasty stuff” and bullets. Rocks and firebombs are deadly weapons, and legitimize deadly force in defense. That comment of yours sounds exactly like those who complain when someone has to kill a person who happens not to be holding a weapon at the time. “He was unarmed”, they say. Yes, he was, but so what? Being armed is not a relevant criterion. (This is not to mention all the cases where they’re simply lying, and the person was armed, but even where they’re not lying they’re being irrelevant.)

          As for poor aim, it’s a sad but well-known fact that the average CCW holder is a better shot than the average policeman.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Gersh204. | July 27, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I disagree with you on deadly force. If federal or local LEOs are facing firecrackers, molotov cocktails, rocks, or firearms, any of which can be lethal, I think the LEOs should be allowed to respond with live ammunition. That’s the usual yardstick for use of firearms by a private individual in a self-defense case. What I would have the LEOs do first is to announce to the rioters that live ammunition will be used against them to quell the riot.

    what i remember is the kent state shootings brought an end to the campus anti-war protests.

      I don’t remember it that way, but I can’t find a chronology of campus uprisings anywhere. I seem to remember that Kent State was used as a rallying cry for the antiwar left. In fact, I am certain that a huge antiwar protest occurred in Washington DC in 1971. Most likely the one in Forest Gump. I, being a pagan fool at the time, was there.

      But you may be right that the campus building takeovers may have ceased after Kent State (1970). However, the activists had achieved many of their goals by then.

      Unknown3rdParty in reply to [email protected]. | July 28, 2020 at 9:35 am

      What I’ve read regarding Kent State is that the “protesters” were largely similarly “unarmed” in their initial confrontations with the National Guard; but, after protesting and rioting and still no action and no shots fired, an unknown person or persons watching nearby fired a shot into a statue, to which the National Guard responded by firing shots into the crowd. No gun was ever found amongst the protesters BUT the recovered bullet did NOT match anything the National Guard fired, leading to the theory that (1) the protesters were merely puppets doing someone else’s bidding, (2) there was an armed somebody watching from nearby, (3) when the protest wasn’t going as intended, that unknown, armed observer provided such a spark to get the desired response.

      Now to Portland … that they recently found loaded magazines in Portland suggests that some of the rioters are armed but are waiting so as to not be the ones firing the first shot but they intend to respond with force if/when that shot is fired; it is my belief that there are one or more armed “observers” who can observe from some vantage point, something some of the rioters may not know about, a few might. As long as the police do not respond “appropriately”, they’re content to continue to throw rocks and frozen water bottles and wantonly vandalize and destroy. However, as soon as one member of the police decides that he’s had enough and shoots somebody, that’s when it will get serious.

      The first mistake was made in Minneapolis when the rioters stormed the police precinct: the police should have defended their territory. Instead, they were under orders to retreat. That gave the rioters the upper hand they needed to continue their strategy.

Number one: all agents should be wearing eye protection… at least against green laser light, but even better, against green and blue laser light or– best of all– red-green-blue.

Second, the streets should be cleared. The rights to “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government” are being used as a pretext for organized attacks on government agencies and personnel, and by extension, on all of American civil society.

Sorry: that’s not allowed. Time to declare martial law in some of these distressed bergs.

    Milhouse in reply to Sonnys Mom. | July 27, 2020 at 11:56 am

    You can’t declare martial law. The courts are still functioning. And there is a right to peaceful assembly. But since the assemblies turn violent as dark descends, they should be banned at night, and mere presence there should be an offense. And the feds should use water cannon, skunk spray, rubber bullets. Anyone seen holding a laser, a firework, or a weapon of any kind should be shot with a rubber bullet. And if that doesn’t work then with a live bullet.

      Hydroxychloroquine can cure covid if taken early with zinc
      Napalm cures TDS regardless of when applied

        JusticeDelivered in reply to rduke007. | July 27, 2020 at 10:50 pm

        It seems to me that if rioters want to set things and people on fire, napalm is a reasonable response.

      JimWoo in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      I’m suprised the water cannons havent been used. Put long lasting dye in the water and hose em down good. Or better yet something really stinky.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      When they turn violent, live ammo. should be used, especially when they have a laser or any other threatening instrument.

      Sales of these lasers should be tracked, and those who bought and supplied them for this purpose should be prosecuted.

      These riots will stop when rioters leave in body bags.

        “These riots will stop when rioters leave in body bags.”

        I sometimes wonder if you are an agent provocateur. This is exactly what the radical leftist thugs want (as long as it’s not them personally in the body bags). Rather than the riots stopping, they would expand ten or possibly one hundred-fold with all of the outraged young fools. This is what Kent State did in the 60’s.

        My first reaction to agents getting blinded by laser is to hope it’s either exaggerated or temporary. If it’s true and permanent, my second reaction is to wish there would be a sniper dedicated to immediate permanent justice. And then I think about what that would lead to. Nothing good.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to gibbie. | July 27, 2020 at 11:18 pm

          Violent thugs only understand violence, and if other people want to join in, culling them is very much in the interest of having a civil society.

          These people had opportunity to be civil, they are mad that they lost the election, personally I do not care if they are mad. Their conduct is a continuation of their unhappiness with the election, clearly they are miserable, they act like wild animals, they need to receive appropriate treatment, and then they will no longer be suffering, and neither will we.

        Unknown3rdParty in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 28, 2020 at 9:40 am

        You can’t prosecute for sales of lasers as that likely falls under the same law that protects gun manufacturers.

    gonzotx in reply to Sonnys Mom. | July 27, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Exactly and send in 1000’s more troops!


    henrybowman in reply to Sonnys Mom. | July 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    “Number one: all agents should be wearing eye protection… at least against green laser light, but even better, against green and blue laser light or– best of all– red-green-blue.”

    Seriously, is there such a thing? Seems to me that if you have eye protection capable of rejecting strong light in so many bands, you might as well be walking around blindfolded.

I know I’m wasting my breath again but what needs to happen is for the police to unite with the very neighborhoods where they enjoy a record 90% support and ORGANIZE THE CITIZENS’ 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!

Militias are not going to work unless they are “properly regulated” That is the the way constitution is written. It’s a matter of engaging with citizens who are left to defend themselves based on the Castle Doctrine as their only constitutional option for exercising their 2nd amendment rights. Having countless “molon labe” militias is insane.

What we need is to introduce police organization and communication into the proces. They know the neighborhoods!

It’s not a matter of getting everyone who has a gun out into the streets ready to shoot. It’s about everyone (or at least enough of us) standing our ground in our neighborhoods under the supervision of the police presenting a formidable show of arms and manpower as an impressive and effective deterrent.

There are lots of armed private citizens with military and police experience and many of us (like me) have tactical training. But we are NOT organized. GETTING organized alone will very likely prevent many many deaths but showing these communist agitators how badly they are outnumbered right to their faces. We can surround them channel them into where we want them to go. As citizens, all we have to do is defend our own property and neighborhood with our armed presence. The police, freed from having to be everywhere at the same time, could handle situations. It’s a major force multiplier that could prove to be a very effective deterrent. This isn’t complicated and it’s a LEGAL INSURRECTION!

It’s up to the police to step up and get this done. I’ve discussed this with three police officials I know well and what they tell me is this: they are worn out and dispirited over the relentless attacks and just want to go home at the end of their shifts.

All of the pizza and lasagna deliveries are not going to overcome this defeatism. They already know they enjoy record support in the neighborhoods. But having spent their careers in patrol vehicles, they don’t know us anymore. Heck, most of them don’t live in the same city.

I’m not suggesting organizing us as a military or police force but as a constitutionally lawful “well-organized militia” in the face of a collapse of law and order. It’s in the constitution! Come on police! Wake up! You are being eliminated from city budgets anyway. Surrender you badges and uniforms and organize your neighborhoods! What do you think is going to happen to make this go away if you do nothing?

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 27, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Properly regulated in 18th century-speak meant that the militias were trained in how to use firearms.

      Not exactly. Our constitution is written with the belief that government should be only so large as is necessary to keep those who cannot “regulate their own behaviors” in check. Men are not angels.

      It was common for oaths to contain language referring to the duty we owe ourselves as free men to keep our desires within due bounds and circumscribe our passions and prejudices” in order to maintain a civil society. Only with the self-discipline to regulate our own behavior are we truly free. Freedom is not an absence of rules. It’s living by rules we choose without having them enforced at the point of a gun. A sense of doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

        I see what you are saying, but this isn’t entirely accurate.

        “Well regulated” meant “trained & precise” like a Regulated Clock or a pressure regulator. It referred to the training received by the “regulars” in the Army.

        “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster, 1787

    “Well-regulated” means knowing how to use your firearms and self-regulated, not regulated by their enemies. Elect your own officers, identify your enemies, write your standing orders to search out and destroy enemies of the Constitution.

      The general argument gun grabbers make is that “well-regulated” means “govermment approved”. Like the National Guard reserves who serve as the militia reporting to the governors. The fact is that our founding fathers constructed the constitution to empower the rights of individuals, not the government. So well-regulated means “organized” and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out they meant organized to oppose a rogue government.

First rule of bears…..don’t poke the bear

    cgray451 in reply to scooterjay. | July 27, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    In the United States of America, government isn’t supposed to be “the bear”. It’s supposed to be the servant of the American people.


Any laser shining at agents should have a 7.62 NATO bullet tracking back to the attacker. It is time to put these Marxists and their useful fools down.

The aggression continues because it’s safe and easy (for the attackers). Take away at least one of those factors and see how long it continues.

Why bother to send in troops if you don’t send in enough to do the job?

Come on man, Trump I thought better of you

While I realize it will send a bad message to let the rioters win, I am coming to the conclusion that ALL federal law enforcement should be withdrawn from Oregon. All joint task forces shut down or feds leave. Tell the Governor that Oregon will be expected to rebuild the courthouse. Maybe multistate federal law enforcement action can continue. I live about an hour from Portland, but I am sick an tired of all the politicians whining about “Trump Troop” secret police.

What exists in Portland is insurrection. The local government is doing nothing to enforce the rule of law. This is exactly why the Insurrection Act was originally passed. And, it should be invoked here.

Deadly force is being directed toward LEOs. This authorizes the LEOs to use deadly force in self defense. To even suggest that we should ever stop men and women in our military or LEAs from using deadly force in self defense is stupid.

The crowd is lawless and will remain lawless since, like all mobs, they give themselves permission to by saying that what they are trying to destroy is unjust. Either beef up the number of federal cops to allow them to deal with this Red Guard knockoff or get them out.

Just too weird for me to contemplate any sure and sensible solutions.

Think about all the wholly different contextual issues these days, compared to the last time our cities burned, in the mid-to-late 1960s:

The press are rabid, moronic, unprofessional
The military is reluctant at best, ass-covering at worst, to get their skin exposed in this game
The ethical and moral paragons of our culture are dead, gone, and forgotten
The police are unsupported, abandoned and maligned by their municipal government branches
The courts are compromised, unreliable
Too many city and state government executives are wholly complicit against, unsupportive of, and scoff at any respectable and essential rule of law, being, then, politically intoxicated enough to warrant the label: psychotic

On and on and on. There’s not much worthy social fabric left to count on as backdrop in all this. The medium itself is shot, worn out, unusable.

Wow. And we ain’t seen anything yet. Wait. November approaches, unlikely for better, probably for worse.

It’s all noise. We need and can’t find our vital signals.

Don’t ask me how, but I’m still optimistic; however, I might be deluding myself as a defense mechanism.

buckeyeminuteman | July 28, 2020 at 8:56 am

Pointing a green laser at an aircraft is a federal offense. Pointing one at a police officer’s eyes should be grounds for two in the chest and one in the head.

I guess there are no brave defenders of democracy in Oregon willing to stand in front of this “wall of moms” who are supposedly there to protect protesters from violence, but who give way every night to these attacks on our agents. The row of veterans behind them was even more disheartening.

I rarely agree with Milhouse–but this time he is right on target. The time has long past for sending in troops with live ammunition to deal with what is a violent insurrection against law and order. Anyone that is part of the mob that tries to blind federal officers, hit them with rocks, etc is just as guilty as the individual terrorist. Americans are too soft and sentimental.
Bring in a brigade of French riot police and watch the little scum run for safety.