Prosecutors in Portland, Oregon, have dismissed charges on 90 percent of the protesters arrested during Antifa and anti-police riots in September. One had also been charged with attempted murder, assault, and arson. Of the 213 arrested that month, only cases for 19 are pending.
In addition to dropping 9 out of every 10 cases in September, authorities dismissed more than 70 percent of the almost 1,000 arrests since May, a case tracker kept by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office revealed. The figure is worsened by reports from The Oregonian that more cases have been dismissed than those shown on the tracker.
Joseph Sipe, 23, is currently wanted in connection with a Molotov cocktail attack on police officers. Authorities initially arrested Sipe on attempted murder, attempted assault, arson, possession of a destructive device, and rioting on September 23, however, he was released after posting a $1,000 bond, KOIN reported. The charges of attempted murder, attempted assault, and arson were later dismissed. Sipe is currently a fugitive after missing a court hearing.
The majority of the other defendants had their charges dismissed due to a policy implemented by Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, where his office would not prosecute crimes related to protests. According to KOIN, the dismissed charges include interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, escaping from authorities, harassment, and rioting. The policy was advertised as a way to focus resources to prosecuting violent crimes. It remains unclear why Schmidt’s office dismissed the most serious charges against Sipe.
In early September, Breitbart News reported on some of the arrests related to the violent protests where demonstrators tossed firebombs, rocks, and commercial-grade fireworks at police. At the time, authorities arrested 59 individuals with most of them getting released after being cited.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].