The city of Portland is charging the US government $500 for every 15 minutes it leaves a fence up outside the courthouse

A protester climbs the fence People in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • The city of Portland, Oregon, says the federal government owes it nearly $US200,000 in fines for its placement of fencing around the courthouse that has blocked a bike lane.
  • The Portland Bureau of Transportation is charging the Department of Homeland Security $US500 for every 15 minutes the fence blocks a bike lane outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.
  • Local officials have clashed with the federal government over the Trump administration’s deployment of federal agents in the city to quash ongoing protests.
  • Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she would typically send city personnel to remove the fence, but did not want to “send workers into harm’s way.”
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The city of Portland, Oregon, says the federal government now owes it nearly $US200,000 for a fence it installed last week outside the federal courthouse in the city amid ongoing demonstrations.

According to a report from NBC News, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is charging the federal government $US500 for every 15 minutes a fence placed by federal officials stands outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse because it’s blocking a bike lane.

“As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $US192,000 and counting,” Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said Tuesday, according to the report. “We intend to collect.”

She added: “Typically, we would send a maintenance crew or contractor to remove such an obstruction, but I will not send workers into harm’s way.”

Transportation officials have said the blocked section of the bike path is “one of the busiest bike routes in the country,” according to KATU.

The fence was installed outside the courthouse on July 22, according to Oregon Live. The transportation bureau had ordered its removal the following day, though it has remained outside the building over the past week.

Federal officials have clashed with state and local leaders over the presence of agents sent by the Department of Homeland Security, which has included federal agents dressed in military fatigues arresting people and placing them inside unmarked vehicles, in addition to their use of tear gas to control the demonstrators.

The Trump administration had defended the tactics as part of its directive for agents to protect federal property. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday announced that the federal agents would be leaving the city in phases.

Protests in Portland have continued as part of nationwide anti-racism protests sparked by the May 25 police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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