Federal Court Issues Restraining Order Against Federal Agents in Portland
The United States District Court for Oregon has issued a restraining order against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service for their actions in Portland.
Per the order, federal agents are restricted from “arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force directed against any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist or Legal Observer…, unless the Federal Defendants have probable cause to believe that such individual has committed a crime”. Additionally, the agents are prohibited “from seizing any photographic equipment, audio- or video-recording equipment, or press passes from any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist or Legal Observer”.
Judge Michael Simon gave the order, arguing how “free press is the guardian of the public interest”, and “[w]hen wrongdoing is underway, officials have great incentive to blindfold the watchful eyes of the Fourth Estate”. “This lawsuit”, his decision continues, “tests whether these principles are merely hollow words”.
The Department of Homeland Security remains in Portland, where it made nine arrests today.