Federal officers in Portland may have been permanently blinded by lasers

Federal officers in Portland may have been permanently blinded by lasers, by Danielle Wallace.

At least three federal officers in Portland [Oregon, in the north west USA] may not recover their vision after earlier this week demonstrators, who have shown up in crowds of over 1,000 for more than 50 consecutive nights, shined lasers in their eyes and threw fireworks at a federal courthouse, officials said. …

A crowd of more than 1,000 “rioters” surrounded the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and began removing plywood coverings before attempting to throw objects — some of them incendiary — through the windows at federal officers inside.

They also vandalized the building with spray paint, blocked adjacent intersections and set several fires.

“When officers responded to put out these fires, glass bottles were thrown and lasers – which can cause permanent blindness – were shined in their eyes,” [Federal Protective Service Deputy Director of Operations Richard “Kriss” Cline] said. “We have three officers who currently have eye injuries and they may not recover sight in those eyes from those laser attacks.” …

Federal officers responded by deploying pepper balls and tear gas. Cline said officers observed one individual taking pictures of a water intake system to the Edith Green Federal Building, which is also under FPS protection. Earlier in the evening Monday night, a Twitter user said “So we can shut off the water to the buildings the feds are staying in to make it a nightmare for them.” …

Red, green and purple lasers were aimed by rioters at federal officers through the courthouse doors while one group used a strobe light on the building. A commercial-grade mortar firework was fired in the vicinity of the Hatfield Courthouse front doors. …

Cline also detailed how the names of federal officers would be removed from their uniforms and replaced with their badge numbers after approximately 38 law enforcement officers had been doxed.

Another threshold breached. The rioters are ramping up the levels of force and fighting organization, trying to injure and maim the police. This goes beyond political protest. The state might rightly be expected to raise their force level.

50 consecutive nights of rioting? This is a crazy minority, and everyone knows it. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

The governor and mayor, both Democrats, strongly object to the Federal presence, and passively encourage the rioting by their inaction. No mention of Little Rock, Arkansas, in the news reports, but the comparison must be looming large in everyone’s minds (well, of those who know history).