It wasn’t quite in the dead of night, but federal prosecutors certainly weren’t making a big deal of it when they walked away from both misdemeanor and felony charges that arose from the protests last summer.
Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than one-third of cases stemming from last summer’s violent protests in downtown Portland when protesters clashed with federal agents. A local news station reviewed federal court records and found 31 of the 90 protest cases have been dismissed by the U.S. Department of Justice, including a mix of misdemeanor and felony charges.
Some of the most serious charges dropped include four defendants charged with assaulting a federal officer, which is a felony. More than half of the dropped charges were “dismissed with prejudice,” which several former federal prosecutors described as extremely rare. “Dismissed with prejudice” means the case can’t be brought back to court.
The dismissal of protest cases runs counter to the tough talk coming from the U.S. Department of Justice last summer. Billy Williams, then-U.S. Attorney for Oregon, vowed there would be consequences for the nightly graffiti, fires and vandalism outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse.
Hmm… do you think federal prosecutors will now dismiss one-third of the cases stemming from the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol?