(The Center Square) – An Oregon judge has dealt a blow to the Portland Police Bureau’s practice of airing allegedly invasive footage of protesters via a temporary restraining order issued in a Multnomah County court.
The order was issued Thursday by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Bushong as part of a lawsuit filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.
In its original complaint, the ACLU of Oregon claimed that broadcasting live video of protesters violated a state law barring law enforcement from “collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of people who are not suspected of criminal activity.”
Under the order, Portland police are barred from recording public demonstrations.
“We appreciate Judge Bushong’s order,” ACLU of Oregon Interim Executive Director Jann Carson said in a statement. “Today’s decision is an important step towards ensuring all people can exercise their rights to protest and assembly without fear of government surveillance."
The restraining order expires on Monday, August 10 at 5 p.m. PST.
Federal agents departed Portland Thursday following an announcement by Gov. Kate Brown that the state had reached a deal with federal authorities despite suggestions to the contrary from Trump officials.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell have since announced that Oregon State Police will be policing ongoing city protests against police brutality.
It was unclear on Thursday to what extent state police will be involved in guarding the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse, the primary gathering site for protesters.
Oregon state police officials confirmed to The Center Square in an email Friday that the 100 state police officers sent to Portland will be coordinating with local police as well as "federal partners."
State police in Portland will include "special operation teams and some uniformed troopers" deployed from "all over the state, primarily rural Oregon," officials said.
Oregon Reps. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, and E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls, have called on President Donald Trump to relocate the federal courthouse out of stated concern for the building’s security. The two have suggested the facility be relocated to Dallas, Oregon, or Klamath County, respectively.
Federal agents are now under fire for potentially dispersing chemical agents down city storm drains after videos posted to social media showed agents hosing down graffiti from the walls of the downtown federal courthouse.
Tear gas has been deployed by federal agents numerous times against protesters around the federal courthouse since the 4th of July weekend.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was also tear-gassed by federal agents earlier this month despite stopping short of banning Portland police from doing so.
The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services responded to the videos and said it is investigating.
The environmental impact of chemical agents like CS tear gas and pepper spray are unknown.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and Oregon state Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie, wrote a joint letter this week to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to investigate the matter.
The letter demanded answers by August 6 from federal authorities as to what chemical agents were used on Portland protesters and their impact on "human health, wildlife, aquatic life, and local air and water quality."