Bill Barr Announces Charges Against Seven Following Weekend Riots

Posted: Jul 08, 2020 9:00 PM
Bill Barr Announces Charges Against Seven Following Weekend Riots

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced charges on Tuesday against seven individuals who participated in riots over the Fourth of July weekend in Portland, Oregon. Court documents note the nightly criminal activity that has followed protests in Portland over the past several weeks.

The seven individuals face charges over their alleged involvement in criminal activity at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse, a frequent target of vandals. According to the Justice Department, federal officers working to protect the courthouse have been targeted with aerial fireworks, including mortars. They've had rocks, bottles, and balloons filled with paint thrown at them and high-intensity lasers shined in their eyes.

"Rowan Olsen, 19, of Portland, is charged with disorderly conduct, creating a hazard on federal property, and failing to obey a lawful order," reads a Justice Department press release. "Shant Singh Ahuja, 28, of Oceanside, California, is charged with destruction of federal property; and Andrew Steven Faulkner, 24, of Beaverton, Oregon; Gretchen Margaret Blank, 29, of Seattle, Washington; Christopher Fellini, 31, of Portland; Cody Porter, 28, of Portland; and Taimane Jame Teo, 24, of Eugene, Oregon, are charged with assaulting federal officers."

(Via the Justice Department)

On July 2-3, 2020, Olsen is accused of using his body to push on and hold a glass door at the Hatfield Courthouse closed, preventing officers from exiting the building and causing the door to shatter. With the door broken, a mortar firework entered the courthouse, detonating near the officers. The officers used shields and their bodies to block the open doorway for approximately six hours until demonstrators dispersed.

On July 4, 2020, Ahuja is accused of willfully destroying a closed-circuit video camera mounted on the exterior of the Hatfield Courthouse.

On July 5, 2020, Blank is accused of assaulting a federal officer with a shield while the officer was attempting to arrest another protestor.

On July 5-6, 2020, Faulkner, Fellini, Porter, and Teo are accused of assaulting federal officers with high intensity lasers. At the time of his arrest, Faulkner also possessed a sheathed machete.

The seven defendants appeared in federal court on July 6 and were released pending trial.

President Trump signed an executive order in late June that ensures vandals and others who seek to destroy federal property are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The order authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for the wilful injury of federal property and instructs the federal government to prosecute those who commit such offenses to the fullest extent of the law.