Since then, there have been reports of rioters who have dressed in black and marked themselves as “press” to avoid being targeted by police — and, reportedly, to carry out violent attacks against federal law enforcement officers with impunity.
“[F]ederal officers have identified (1) individuals pretending to be press or legal observers, and, relatedly, (2) individuals presenting indicia of press affiliation under the TRO who have engaged in unlawful actions,” the DOJ filing stated.
A third individual wearing indicia of press membership and self-reporting as press, was arrested for failing to comply with lawful direction of a federal officer, and discovered to be carrying commercial grade fireworks, which, throughout the protests, have been used as a tactic to harass federal officers, and which are illegal in Oregon.
Most recently, on the night of July 29, 2020, an individual wearing “press” identification assisted another protester to breach the perimeter fence.
Such individuals are also often in the middle of crowds of violent protesters, not physically separated, impeding dispersal and endangering officers who must attempt to determine if individuals refusing lawful orders are covered by the TRO.