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For Immediate Release

July 29, 2020 U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
Director Washington Visits Portland

Washington - On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington visited Portland, Oregon, to meet with agency employees responding to repeated attacks from violent opportunists at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. As he toured the federal building, Director Washington was able to see firsthand the damage and chaos wrought from almost two months of violence.

D/OR USM Russel Burger (left) talks with USMS Director Donald Washington

D/OR USM Russel Burger (left) talks with USMS Director Donald Washington about the nightly damage Portland’s Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse has sustained since the protests began in late May.

From graffiti spray painted across the entire perimeter of the courthouse facade to tear gas and fireworks stains that marked the ground, the evidence of disorder stood as a testament to the strength of deputy marshals and other federal officers who have shown great restraint under difficult circumstances.

That same night Shannon Bream of Fox News @ Night interviewed Director Washington about the role of the U.S. Marshals in protecting the court and working toward a peaceful resolution. He used the opportunity to tell Americans that district employees live and work in the city and have been Portlanders for many years.

“The United States Marshals Services’ primary function since 1789 has been to protect the federal judicial function,” Washington said. “What we are doing in Portland is nothing new; we’ve been doing it for 230 years, and in terms of Portland, we’ve been here for 16 decades.”

“The men and women that are stationed here are folks who are parts of this community, they are husbands and wives, they are raising children here, they live and die here; this is their state, this is their home,” Washington continued. “That courthouse is the symbol of justice in this community, from which many important decisions have come.”

Director Washington ended his interview stating that he remains the eternal optimist, that law and order will return to the city of Portland as well as other cities and states who have suffered from violence associated with protests across the country.

“I am a firm believer in our constitution,” Washington stated. “I think it is the thing that separates us from other countries in the world, I think it holds great promise, but just like everybody else, we are always looking for a better day.”

“I encourage the public to separate the good from the bad. In my experience as a law enforcement officer, we want law and order, we want justice, but we want equal justice under the law.”

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