We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Federal officers face off with and fire munitions at Portlanders once again last night after encouragement from Trumps DHS chief.
Federal officers face off with and fire munitions at Portlanders once again last night after encouragement from Trump's DHS chief. Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Lookin' in your eyes while you're on the other side. I can't take it no more. Baby, I'm comin' for you. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• Federal response to the 50th night of protests in Portland took an extra violent and disturbing turn as federal officers fired an overwhelming amount of tear gas and munitions at demonstrators downtown last night. The overly aggressive action (that was seemingly brought on without warning or provocation) was possibly due to a poorly spelled press release issued yesterday by acting Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Chad "CHAD!" Wolf, who accused Portland leaders of taking it too easy on Portland's “violent mob” of "anarchists." Wolf also made a surprise visit to Portland yesterday where he met with federal officers, but avoided local leaders and press.

• Meanwhile a separate demonstration attended by roughly 300 nonviolent protesters took place in Southeast Portland at the East Precinct where a mixture of Portland Police and Multnomah County Sheriff's Deputies pushed the crowd back around midnight and made several arrests. One of those detained was occasional Portland Mercury reporter Andrew Jankowski who, according to video shot on the scene, clearly identified himself as a member of press and was wearing a media badge. This action is in probable violation of a temporary restraining order that was leveled at the Portland Police by local journalists after weeks of press intimidation during the protests. We're looking deeper into this and will have an update later.

• Trump's sudden attention to Portland has also attracted the attention of national media, with stories today in the New York Times (co-penned by occasional Mercury contributor Sergio Olmos), the Washington Post, and even Rolling Stone. Good work, Portland!

• Oh, and Chad's impromptu visit to Portland was not exactly welcome—especially to state lawmakers:

• In what I hope everyone will recognize as very ALARMING NEWS: Federal officers have reportedly been grabbing Portland protesters off the streets and whisking them away in unmarked cars. Protester Mark Pettibone was grabbed late Wednesday night, thrown in an unmarked vehicle, and taken to the Federal Courthouse where he was detained, searched, and later released. Later the Feds told OPB that Pettibone had not been arrested... so now the Feds are just kidnapping people? JESUS CHRIST.

• Early Wednesday morning as the cops swept and fenced off the parks outside the Justice Center, the police also arrested volunteers working with Riot Ribs, a barbecue tent that has been serving up free food to anyone who asked. The cops also confiscated their grill as well as thousands of dollars worth of food donations. Reporter Suzette Smith has more on their morally repugnant behavior.

• There was another very big, worrying jump in positive coronavirus infections in Oregon, with a new state record of 437 cases being reported yesterday, along with two additional deaths. WEAR YA DAMN MASKS (correctly), WASH YA DAMN HANDS, AND KEEP YA DAMN DISTANCE.


• Congrats, America! Yesterday you absolutely crushed your single day record for new coronavirus infections, racking up more than 75,000 new cases in one 24 hour period.

• Brilliant epidemiologist/White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had this to say about Trump's stance on schools reopening in the midst of a deadly crisis: “When he says open, he means open and full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their school,” she said. “The science should not stand in the way of this.” Goddammit... GET OUT OF OUR WAY, SCIENCE!

• To clearly demonstrate his fealty to Trump, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is not only telling his constituents to avoid wearing virus-protecting face masks, he's now suing the City of Atlanta over the mayor's mask mandate.

• The nationwide protests against police violence toward Black Americans are working (though there's still a very long way to go): "George Floyd’s killing has already prompted some police departments to ban neck holds and require intervention."

• More bad news for Trump: According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of Americans disapprove of the president's bungling of the coronavirus crisis.

• Now let's rest our vision on the skies for the WEATHER: Cloudier and cooler today with a high of 78, but expect a warm, sunny weekend!

• And finally, there's no wrong way to ask for food.