PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that a White River Junction, Vermont man has been charged with repeatedly charging at police officers while holding a shield as officers were engaged in lawful crowd dispersal during a civil disorder event.
A federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon has returned a one-count indictment charging Charles Randolph Comfort, 24 with Civil Disorder.
According to court documents, during the late evening of June 25, 2020, a group of individuals blocked traffic on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and NE Emerson near Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) North Precinct. Dumpsters were taken by members of the crowd from nearby businesses and rolled into the streets and fireworks were thrown over the barricade on NE Emerson Street at the officers stationed there. An unlawful assembly was declared in the early morning hours of June 26, 2020 and PPB made repeated public address announcements telling the group to leave the area.
A PPB Rapid Response Team officer was assisting with moving the crowd that was in the middle of NE MLK Blvd and observed Charles Randolph Comfort carrying a black shield which he repeatedly used as he charged at officers as they were attempting to disperse the crowd. Upon refusing to leave the area, Comfort was placed under arrest where he actively attempted to pull away and kicked a PPB officer multiple times.
Charles Randolph Comfort made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered released pending a jury trial.
The FBI and PPB investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.