Cline gave these remarks at a press conference held on Tuesday, July 21, concerning the events of the previous night. Federal law enforcement officers in Portland were tasked with protecting the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, a federal courthouse that has been assaulted on a nightly basis by rioters.
On Monday evening, when federal agents in Portland had to confront a violent mob of over 1,000 people, Cline said that the rioters started several large fires, and when officers went out of the courthouse to respond, they were immediately attacked. Projectiles such as glass bottles were thrown at them, and lasers were shined in their eyes.
“We have three officers who currently have eye injuries and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks,” said Cline. The rioters used red, green and purple colored lasers. They aimed them at federal officers through the Federal Courthouse's glass doors, and another group even shined strobe lights on the building.
Cline also said that the federal officers were also hit by incendiary devices such as commercial-grade mortar fireworks and Molotov cocktails. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also said that “violent anarchists” have been attacking the federal courthouse relentlessly. The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) also reported that organized rioters have been jamming their communications.
In response to the attack, the FPS has purchased protective eyewear that can block out the lasers. Cline said federal officers in Portland are now wearing them to prevent future eye injuries.
Seven people were arrested during the Monday night riot – two individuals who allegedly assaulted federal officers and five who were taken in for noncompliance with lawful directions.
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According to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, many other federal law enforcement officers in Portland have been injured while protecting federal property in the city.
According to McEnany, along with the three officers who may have been blinded with lasers, one federal agent had his hand impaled by nails planted on a surface by the rioters. One other federal agent was shot by a high powered pellet gun, which left a wound that reached the agent's bone.
McEnany said that the Trump administration will not allow the rampant criminality in Portland to continue, and will take decisive action to make sure anarchists will not control the city's streets.
And it appears that President Donald Trump will be following through on that promise, as he has already pledged to send even more officers into Portland, along with sending federal agents into other crime-infested cities – most notably, cities run by elected officials from the Democratic Party such as Chicago and Seattle. (Related: Violent Antifa rioters once again terrorize Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood as Mayor watches and does nothing.)
“We're going to have more federal law enforcement, that I can tell you,” said the president on Monday. “In Portland, they've done a fantastic job. They've been there three days, and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time.”