FBI Portland
Beth Anne Steele
(503) 460-8099
April 20, 2021

Statement by Portland FBI Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey to Oregonians

The FBI will always honor and protect your First Amendment rights, and we will do everything we can to protect your ability to gather peaceably, to speak, and to demand the change that you want. As we head into the days and weeks before us, we ask that you join together, using this time to help shape a future for all our children that is safe, free, and just.

At the same time, our community faces the risk of allowing those focused only on violence to steal the moment for their own. The small groups of rioters causing destruction, committing arson, and engaged in other serious crimes on a nightly basis, continue to target Portland and elsewhere in Oregon. Their violence and threats to tear down our community, must not be tolerated. We—along with our local, state, and federal partners—continue to work to make sure they are held accountable for the destruction they leave behind. Unlike us, those bent on violence don't believe that you should have a voice in the future that we share.

The days before us bring great promise—and great concern. We, collectively, have the chance to move our shared community forward. This once-in-a-generation opportunity should allow us to work together to build a more just society that both respects our differences and reflects our common values.