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18 people face federal charges after arrests at courthouse protests

July 25, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 20: A federal officer pepper sprays a protester in front of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 20, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The federal police response to the ongoing protests against racial inequality has been criticized by city and state elected officals. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

A total of eighteen people face federal charges for their alleged roles during protests this week at the US Courthouse in Portland, according to the office of the US Attorney for the District of Oregon.

(CNN)A total of eighteen people face federal charges for their alleged roles during protests this week at the US Courthouse in Portland, according to the office of the US Attorney for the District of Oregon.

"The Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a nightly target of vandalism during evening protests and riots, sustaining extensive damage," the office said Friday in a news release.

President Donald Trump said federal officers were sent to the city to protect federal property, but protesters and local leaders have strongly opposed their presence.

CNN's team in Portland on Wednesday night and Thursday morning recorded a large gathering of protesters outside the federal courthouse.

Rather than lining up in formation to march protesters back several blocks, federal agents used crowd dispersant projectiles and tear gas long enough to extinguish the flames that had been set, before retreating back into the federal building.

Portland Police said people threw flammable material and incendiary devices over a fence next to the courthouse, starting a large fire, while others breached the fence.

Just after midnight, one person in the crowd threw a flaming item into the courthouse, police said.

Most refused, police said, and over the next several hours, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the federal building along with hundreds of projectiles.

Portland Police said they made no arrests.

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