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Federal prosecutors dismiss dozens of cases in connection to last summer's Portland protests, report

The Department of Justice said protesters would be "arrested, prosecuted and face prison time," instead, dozens of cases were dismissed.

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Portland Riots
Rioters and police stand off earlier this month in Portland, Ore.
John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Updated: March 5, 2021 - 3:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than one-third of cases related to last summer’s violent protests in downtown Portland in which protesters clashed with federal agents.

A review of federal court records by KGW8-TV found the Justice Department has dismissed 31 of the 90 protest cases, which include a mix of misdemeanor and felony charges.

Among the felony charges were assault of a federal officer. More than half of the dropped charges were "dismissed with prejudice," which several former federal prosecutors described as extremely rare, according to the TV station.

"Dismissed with prejudice" means the case can’t be brought back to court.

The department last year vowed consequences for the nightly graffiti, fires and vandalism outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse.

"Make no mistake," said Billy Williams, then-U.S. Attorney for Oregon. "Those who commit violence in the name of protest, will be investigated, arrested, prosecuted, and face prison time," KGW8 also reports.

Williams more recently said the dismissed cases where those in which  prosecutors didn’t they could prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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