50 Oregon Guard Troops Briefly Deployed Amid Post-Election Rioting

Portland Police and Oregon National Guard drive through downtown while dispersing protesters on Nov. 4, 2020
Portland Police and Oregon National Guard drive through downtown while dispersing protesters on Nov. 4, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. Multiple protests, some peaceful and others violent, broke out in Portland as the presidential election remained undecided. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The Oregon National Guard deployed 50 troops to reinforce State Police in Portland on Wednesday night after rioting broke out one day after a so-far undecided 2020 presidential election.

The Guard members were placed on state active-duty status after Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Monday for troops to be placed on standby "to support unified command with Oregon State Police immediately upon request if/as needed," Stephen Bomar, a spokesman for the Oregon Military Department, said in a news release.

The uniformed Guard members deployed Wednesday evening were formed into teams of security forces and military police "who have completed training at the Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training civilian law enforcement standards," he said in the release.

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"The Guard members were unarmed but had basic response gear and non-lethal equipment while being paired with an armed law enforcement officer," Bomar told Military.com.

Police in Portland arrested 11 people Wednesday night, one of whom had a rifle loaded with a full magazine of ammunition, KATU2, an ABC affiliate, reported

"He also had several more magazines, an improvised explosive device, a knife and spray-paint cans," KATU2 reported. "Officials said he was wearing a tactical vest with ballistic plates."

Protesters started gathering Wednesday evening at Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland for a "Defend Democracy" rally before marching across the Morrison Bridge to Waterfront Park, the station reported.

Portland Police declared a riot after people smashed storefront windows of local businesses in the downtown area, Fox News reported.

The Guard's mission in Portland was over by Thursday morning, but Brown has extended her executive order through Friday, according to the release.

"These Guard members as of this morning are back in a standby status but can be called in along with additional support if/as needed," Bomar said in the release.

The deployment of the Oregon Guard is the latest such order as America awaits the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday authorized up to 1,000 Guard personnel to be activated to support local law enforcement in case large-scale demonstrations follow the election results.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Related: More National Guard Troops Activated in Preparation for Election Day Unrest

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