FILE - Federal Agents Portland

Federal agents surround the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse during a nightly protest in Portland, Oregon.

(The Center Square) — Oregon's top law enforcement officer was denied a temporary restraining order by a federal judge on Friday restricting federal agents from making unwarranted arrests.

Filed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum this week, the lawsuit sought to bar the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Protective Service from making arrests without probable cause.

"Because it has not shown it is vindicating an interest that is specific to the state itself—I find the State of Oregon lacks standing here and therefore deny its request for a temporary restraining order," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman in his ruling.

The lawsuit concerned two incidents last week in which two men were detained by alleged federal agents.

The first involved individuals in camouflage and tactical gear detaining 29-year-old Michael Pettibone in downtown Portland on July 15 before driving off with him in an unmarked van for questioning. 

The second incident involved an unknown man dressed in black being detained by similarly dressed individuals before being taken to an unmarked van and driven away in a highly-viewed video posted to social media.

Mosman's ruling follows U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ruling in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, granting protections to journalists and legal observers from federal agents.

Federal agents continue to face nationwide criticism and an increasing number of lawsuits for use of force on protesters over the past month in Portland. 

The Portland Police Bureau faces similar outcry over violent clashes with protesters, journalists, and legal observers. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who oversees the bureau, was tear-gassed by federal agents this week while on the ground with protesters. 

The city has seen continuous protests against police brutality since the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police in May. 

Staff Reporter

Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly.