Federal Building in downtown Portland, Oregon

An account listing facts of the arrest, jailing, and initial Court experiences
Reed K. Christensen

Typed on 10-11 May 2021


(Monday - 26 April 2021)

 9:30am
  - On the way to Portland in the SUV, the male officer who was driving received
    a cell phone call.  I couldn't hear the other end, as he held it to his
    ear, not on speaker phone.  (I smiled at that - it's against the law in
    Oregon.)  It was clear from his side of the call that my medicines were not
    in the paper bag they had received.  He said he would come back and get
    them, as he had to return anyways in order to give back my restraint chain.

  - On arrival at the Portland downtown Federal Building, I was taken into the
    parking garage area, initially to one parking spot, and then after a
    phone call, to a "sally port" area.  Several men met us there.  At least
    one of them was a US Marshall as labeled on his green shirt.  One of the
    men, who I later learned was a jailer, proceeded to put heavy cuffs with
    a short chain on my ankles.  The torso chain was removed and returned to
    my driver.

  - I followed the jailer into the Federal Building and was placed in a
    holding cell with a bench (heavily graffitied) on each side, and a prison
    toilet at the back behind a low cinderblock wall.

  - After a short time a jailer arrived and escorted me to an in-processing
    room.  I had a picture taken and prints taken of each of my fingers. By
    this time the jailers had noticed my silence, and assured me they were not
    FBI agents.  So there was a bit of back and forth discussion as it took
    many retries to the electronic finger scanner to work.  (ex: Jailer -
    "typical lowest bidder government software")

  - I went back to the holding cell in the center of three cells.  After a
    while another ankle-chained prisoner was brought in.  He had on what
    looked like a two piece dark blue hospital scrub.  After a short while we
    introduced ourselves and started talking.  He was in on a drug charge,
    but it seemed business related, dealing with a contract dispute with a
    company.  (Perhaps since marijuana is legal in Oregon?)  I told him I was
    a political prisoner and I was there because I am a Trump supporter.  I
    heard a stir from an adjacent holding cell, then "Go Trump!".

  - My fellow inmate and I then talked about a range of current events and
    political figures.  He helpfully outlined the hearings and procedures that
    I would be going through - as I admitted to knowing nothing about the legal
    steps of an arrest.  It wasn't too long before a jailer came to lead him
    away.

  - This was the first time in 24 hours that I had talked freely and
    non-chalantly with a peer, and it felt good.

  - I sat alone in the cell until a jailer came to escort me to a small room with
    a counter and a glass pane that divided the room.  There was a stool on my
    side of the counter, and the glass pane had a small slot at the bottom.  On
    the other side of the glass was a small notebook computer with a female on
    a Zoom call.  She informed me that she was a court appointed attorney.  She
    started rattling off a laundry list of legal decisions that I needed to consider and
    to make a reply to. 

  - The list was rattled off pretty quickly and perfunctorily, so I didn't
    really grasp anything.  I explained that I didn't really understand her,
    that I had trouble speaking because I was dehydrated, I had not eaten or
    slept in 24 hours, and that I was not feeling or thinking well.  That
    caused her to once more start mechanically listing the legal decisions
    that I was required to make.

  - A little exasperated at this point, I strongly pointed out that I had not
    yet even spoken to my wife since my arrest. She then offered to use her
    phone to call while on the Zoom meeting.  My wife answered her phone, and
    we were able to talk for the first time in 24 hours.  She assured me that
    our own attorney was on the way to meet with me.

  - The Zoom connection ended, and almost immediately my lawyer entered the
    booth on the other side of the glass.  We talked about my case and my
    experience in the Washington County jail.

  - The court appointed lawyer did say as she ended our call, that she would
    notify the jailers about my dehydration and lack of food.  So the door
    on my side opened and a jailer put a sorry looking paper lunch bag on the
    counter.  The bag was beat up and the bottom creases of it were discolored
    like something greasy had been oozing out.  Inside was a white paper box
    that similarly looked dilapidated and soaked with liquid, that held some
    greasy looking corn or succotash.  A small carton of milk was in the bag,
    and what looked like a sandwich with two vanilla oreo cookies wrapped
    with plastic wrap.

  - I decided the sandwich looked palatable, and opened it to find it was just
    two pieces of bread only, with no filling or even butter.  The oreo type
    cookies had absorbed moisture from the bread and were soggy.  I ate the
    bread and the cookies and drank the milk.

  - After my lawyer and I were done, he left to make preparations, and I sat
    alone in the communication booth for quite a while.  Finally I was taken
    back to the holding cell - with no other inmates.

  - After another delay, a jailer came to move me and another inmate from an
    adjacent holding cell to pre-trial waiting cells.  The other inmate was
    taken first for his hearing.  After 15-20 minutes, I was taken to my
    Federal Pretrial hearing.

 1:30 pm

  - The hearing was held on a laptop which sat on a table in a small hallway.
    A jailer sat on either side of the table, and I sat on a stool in front
    of the laptop.

  - On the Zoom screen was the face of a female judge.  There were several
    other panes in the meeting, some had faces, but some were blank.  The
    panes had labels under them like: "court clerk", "federal prosecuter",
    "pretrial release", etc.  The hearing was delayed a bit until my lawyer
    was able to call in on the phone.

  - I don't recall all of the steps of the hearing that went on, but I
    remember a couple of key items.

  - At one point the Judge asked "Pretrial Release" what they thought of my
    incarceration - should I be released under conditions, or kept in jail.
    The pretrial person said they had checked me out and talked to my wife
    and based on that they would recommend release.

  - The Judge seemed to me unconvinced by that recommendation.  I don't recall
    any response or affirmation to that.  She proceeded with other legal
    disclaimers and warnings.  She then made a statement along these lines -
    "Remember Mr. Christensen, that as a defendant, under our cherished
    Constitution, you have an absolute right to remain silent."

  - At this point I choked back an involuntary guffaw, and rasped out with my
    dry voice, "Your honor, can I say something about that?"

  - My lawyer immediately spoke up and said, "I know what Reed has in mind and
    I can speak to that."   I told him to go ahead.  My lawyer gave a succinct
    and accurate account of the treatment I had received in the Washington
    County jail for the exact reason of staying silent.  He then asked,
    "Is that it, Reed?"  "Perfect, you said it better that I could have done."

  - The Judge then immediately and forcefully announced, "The defendent is
    released."  The Federal prosecuter sounded non-plussed and immediately
    brought up conditions for release.  Most were travel restrictions -
    requiring notificaton to leave the State, and permission to travel outside
    the Country.  All firearms had to be removed from my property and given
    to a neighbor or friend.  I agreed to the conditions.

  - I was taken back to a holding cell.  I was there for a couple of hours
    alone and undisturbed.  (Later I learned my wife was using this time to
    remove all firearms from the property.)

  - Finally a couple of jailers came and said it was time to go.  As I shuffled
    out the door with my ankle chain, I talked to one of the jailers.

  - I told him that being inside the Federal cells, I was curious about the
    assaults on the Federal officers and the burning of the Federal Building
    and ICE Building here in downtown Portland.  Over the year and a half that
    those assaults were going on, there were 100's of people engaging in those
    attacks.  I was curious how many of those people had he seen the FBI bring
    through these holding cells?

  - "Was it 100's?"  "No."  Was it scores?"  "No."  "Was it 10?"  "No."  "Was
    there just a few?".  "I haven't seen anyone like that come through here."

  - I was taken to a large reception room and turned over the a Pretrial
    Release officer.  He had me go into a restroom to put on a stripped long
    sleeve shirt and some sweat pants, since he said my belongings could not
    be found.  This included my stroke meds, only one of four bottles was returned.




                                 Federal release clothing




Back to Main

Next
    My wife's account
   
   

  - I was then sat at a table to sign a Pretrial Release form to agree to my
    conditions of release.  I hadn't had my glasses since I first entered the
    Washington County jail, and I was exhausted, but I managed to squint at
    the fine print of the form.

  - One of the first release conditions said, "shall not own or posess any
    weapons".  I immediately balked at this.  I told the release officer that
    this is not what the judge had said at my Pretrial release hearing.  She
    said only that guns had to be removed from the property.  This form says
    "own".  I am not convicted of anything - why should I sign away my 2nd
    Amendment rights?  Besides, it says "weapons", not guns.  I live on a small
    farm.  We have knives, sledgehammers, other tools, and even a chainsaw.
    These can all be used as weapons.  I said I will not sign the form.




                                   Pretrial Release Form





  - The release guard assured me that there was no attempt at bait and switch
    to change the conditions of release.  Signing the form was simply a
    bureaucratic requirement before release.  I replied that he may be sincere
    in his assurance - but no way would I believe him.  The Supreme Court has
    said that as an officer of the law can lie his head off all day long and
    there would be no repercussions and too bad for the dupe that believed
    the lies.

  - He suggested I call my lawyer and talk to him.  He used his cell phone to
    make the call.  I explained the bait and switch, and my lawyer was certain
    that it was just boilerplate government paperwork, and that they were not
    trying to change the terms of release.  He pointed out that my Pretrial
    hearing with the Judge's conditions was recorded and could be used to
    show that no loss of gun ownership was talked about.

 5:00 pm

  - After signing the form, I was taken out to the street.  The outside entrance
    to the Federal building was screened by a high metal grate, and I could see
    that it was right across from the downtown Portland Police building.  The
    street level windows of both buildings were boarded up.  We crossed an
    intersection so I could stand next to a Starbuck Cafe which was open.

  - The release officer used his phone to contact my wife to make sure that
    she was on her way and she knew where to come get me.  She had been
    confused by the first contact and was headed to downtown Hillsboro, but
    she redirected to downtown Portland.

  - It was chilly and the wind was biting, and I had no coat, so I asked the
    officer if I could ask the Starbuck employees if I could wait inside.  He
    said yes, and when they agreed to let me stand inside by the outside
    window, he left.

  - (At some point while we stood outside in front of the boarded up windows
    of the Portland Police building, I commented to the officer that the
    letters ACAB were spray painted everywhere one looked.  I told him that
    I don't know anyone who talks like that.)

  - My wife made excellent time and she arrived to pick me up before 5:30 pm.

Follow Up Hearings

  - A hearing to establish my identity at the "crime" scene that was to be
    held on Wednesday, 28 April, was cancelled.  It was not necessary because
    I did not contest that I was the person they accused.
  
  - My next hearing was on Friday, 30 April.  It was a Pretrial Release
    hearing with a Judge in D.C.  I went to my lawyer's office so that we could
    sit together for the call into a Zoom meeting.

  - Most of the hearing was pretty prefunctory.  There were three defendents
    being prosecuted at the same time, the Judge said it was to facilitate
    getting things done in a timely manner since that the admonitions and
    legal instructions could be done only once.  When it was my turn I
    acknowledged that I understood his directions.

  - The other two defendents each had a session where they were given the
    standard release conditions (travel, and posessing guns).  When it was my
    turn, the Federal prosecuter asked for a closed hearing on my release
    conditions.  The Zoom meeting was reconfigured to exclude the other
    dependents and their counsels.

  - The Federal prosecuter then asked the Judge to order additional special
    conditions on me.  He wanted a required mental health evaluation and an
    agreement from me to undergo any required treatment.  The reason he used
    for asking is that when I was arrested my wife was very worried about my
    health and was emphatic that I must be given my meds.

  - The Judge asked my lawyer if he needed to consult with his client.  My
    lawyer said no, he knew the situation.  He then recounted that I had
    recently had a major stroke, and had been prescribed four medications.
    He also pointed out that I had no history of mental illness, and he asked
    that the conditon be rejected.

  - The Judge asked the Federal Prosecuter if he had a reply.  "No."

  - The Judge ruled that only the standard release conditions were to be
    applied.  My next Federal Hearing was to be scheduled for 21 June 2021.

    (... see next document for my wife's account ...)

  <top>




  - I was then sat at a table to sign a Pretrial Release form to agree to my
    conditions of release.  I hadn't had my glasses since I first entered the
    Washington County jail, and I was exhausted, but I managed to squint at
    the fine print of the form.

  - One of the first release conditions said, "shall not own or posess any
    weapons".  I immediately balked at this.  I told the release officer that
    this is not what the judge had said at my Pretrial release hearing.  She
    said only that guns had to be removed from the property.  This form says
    "own".  I am not convicted of anything - why should I sign away my 2nd
    Amendment rights?  Besides, it says "weapons", not guns.  I live on a small
    farm.  We have knives, sledgehammers, other tools, and even a chainsaw.
    These can all be used as weapons.  I said I will not sign the form.




                                   Pretrial Release Form





  - The release guard assured me that there was no attempt at bait and switch
    to change the conditions of release.  Signing the form was simply a
    bureaucratic requirement before release.  I replied that he may be sincere
    in his assurance - but no way would I believe him.  The Supreme Court has
    said that as an officer of the law can lie his head off all day long and
    there would be no repercussions and too bad for the dupe that believed
    the lies.

  - He suggested I call my lawyer and talk to him.  He used his cell phone to
    make the call.  I explained the bait and switch, and my lawyer was certain
    that it was just boilerplate government paperwork, and that they were not
    trying to change the terms of release.  He pointed out that my Pretrial
    hearing with the Judge's conditions was recorded and could be used to
    show that no loss of gun ownership was talked about.

 5:00 pm

  - After signing the form, I was taken out to the street.  The outside entrance
    to the Federal building was screened by a high metal grate, and I could see
    that it was right across from the downtown Portland Police building.  The
    street level windows of both buildings were boarded up.  We crossed an
    intersection so I could stand next to a Starbuck Cafe which was open.

  - The release officer used his phone to contact my wife to make sure that
    she was on her way and she knew where to come get me.  She had been
    confused by the first contact and was headed to downtown Hillsboro, but
    she redirected to downtown Portland.

  - It was chilly and the wind was biting, and I had no coat, so I asked the
    officer if I could ask the Starbuck employees if I could wait inside.  He
    said yes, and when they agreed to let me stand inside by the outside
    window, he left.

  - (At some point while we stood outside in front of the boarded up windows
    of the Portland Police building, I commented to the officer that the
    letters ACAB were spray painted everywhere one looked.  I told him that
    I don't know anyone who talks like that.)

  - My wife made excellent time and she arrived to pick me up before 5:30 pm.

Follow Up Hearings

  - A hearing to establish my identity at the "crime" scene that was to be
    held on Wednesday, 28 April, was cancelled.  It was not necessary because
    I did not contest that I was the person they accused.
  
  - My next hearing was on Friday, 30 April.  It was a Pretrial Release
    hearing with a Judge in D.C.  I went to my lawyer's office so that we could
    sit together for the call into a Zoom meeting.

  - Most of the hearing was pretty prefunctory.  There were three defendents
    being prosecuted at the same time, the Judge said it was to facilitate
    getting things done in a timely manner since that the admonitions and
    legal instructions could be done only once.  When it was my turn I
    acknowledged that I understood his directions.

  - The other two defendents each had a session where they were given the
    standard release conditions (travel, and posessing guns).  When it was my
    turn, the Federal prosecuter asked for a closed hearing on my release
    conditions.  The Zoom meeting was reconfigured to exclude the other
    dependents and their counsels.

  - The Federal prosecuter then asked the Judge to order additional special
    conditions on me.  He wanted a required mental health evaluation and an
    agreement from me to undergo any required treatment.  The reason he used
    for asking is that when I was arrested my wife was very worried about my
    health and was emphatic that I must be given my meds.

  - The Judge asked my lawyer if he needed to consult with his client.  My
    lawyer said no, he knew the situation.  He then recounted that I had
    recently had a major stroke, and had been prescribed four medications.
    He also pointed out that I had no history of mental illness, and he asked
    that the conditon be rejected.

  - The Judge asked the Federal Prosecuter if he had a reply.  "No."

  - The Judge ruled that only the standard release conditions were to be
    applied.  My next Federal Hearing was to be scheduled for 21 June 2021.

    (... see next document for my wife's account ...)

  <top>



  - I was then sat at a table to sign a Pretrial Release form to agree to my
    conditions of release.  I hadn't had my glasses since I first entered the
    Washington County jail, and I was exhausted, but I managed to squint at
    the fine print of the form.

  - One of the first release conditions said, "shall not own or posess any
    weapons".  I immediately balked at this.  I told the release officer that
    this is not what the judge had said at my Pretrial release hearing.  She
    said only that guns had to be removed from the property.  This form says
    "own".  I am not convicted of anything - why should I sign away my 2nd
    Amendment rights?  Besides, it says "weapons", not guns.  I live on a small
    farm.  We have knives, sledgehammers, other tools, and even a chainsaw.
    These can all be used as weapons.  I said I will not sign the form.




                                   Pretrial Release Form

 
  - The release guard assured me that there was no attempt at bait and switch
    to change the conditions of release.  Signing the form was simply a
    bureaucratic requirement before release.  I replied that he may be sincere
    in his assurance - but no way would I believe him.  The Supreme Court has
    said that as an officer of the law can lie his head off all day long and
    there would be no repercussions and too bad for the dupe that believed
    the lies.

  - He suggested I call my lawyer and talk to him.  He used his cell phone to
    make the call.  I explained the bait and switch, and my lawyer was certain
    that it was just boilerplate government paperwork, and that they were not
    trying to change the terms of release.  He pointed out that my Pretrial
    hearing with the Judge's conditions was recorded and could be used to
    show that no loss of gun ownership was talked about.

 5:00 pm

  - After signing the form, I was taken out to the street.  The outside entrance
    to the Federal building was screened by a high metal grate, and I could see
    that it was right across from the downtown Portland Police building.  The
    street level windows of both buildings were boarded up.  We crossed an
    intersection so I could stand next to a Starbuck Cafe which was open.

  - The release officer used his phone to contact my wife to make sure that
    she was on her way and she knew where to come get me.  She had been
    confused by the first contact and was headed to downtown Hillsboro, but
    she redirected to downtown Portland.

  - It was chilly and the wind was biting, and I had no coat, so I asked the
    officer if I could ask the Starbuck employees if I could wait inside.  He
    said yes, and when they agreed to let me stand inside by the outside
    window, he left.

  - (At some point while we stood outside in front of the boarded up windows
    of the Portland Police building, I commented to the officer that the
    letters ACAB were spray painted everywhere one looked.  I told him that
    I don't know anyone who talks like that.)

  - My wife made excellent time and she arrived to pick me up before 5:30 pm.

Follow Up Hearings

  - A hearing to establish my identity at the "crime" scene that was to be
    held on Wednesday, 28 April, was cancelled.  It was not necessary because
    I did not contest that I was the person they accused.
  
  - My next hearing was on Friday, 30 April.  It was a Pretrial Release
    hearing with a Judge in D.C.  I went to my lawyer's office so that we could
    sit together for the call into a Zoom meeting.

  - Most of the hearing was pretty prefunctory.  There were three defendents
    being prosecuted at the same time, the Judge said it was to facilitate
    getting things done in a timely manner since that the admonitions and
    legal instructions could be done only once.  When it was my turn I
    acknowledged that I understood his directions.

  - The other two defendents each had a session where they were given the
    standard release conditions (travel, and posessing guns).  When it was my
    turn, the Federal prosecuter asked for a closed hearing on my release
    conditions.  The Zoom meeting was reconfigured to exclude the other
    dependents and their counsels.

  - The Federal prosecuter then asked the Judge to order additional special
    conditions on me.  He wanted a required mental health evaluation and an
    agreement from me to undergo any required treatment.  The reason he used
    for asking is that when I was arrested my wife was very worried about my
    health and was emphatic that I must be given my meds.

  - The Judge asked my lawyer if he needed to consult with his client.  My
    lawyer said no, he knew the situation.  He then recounted that I had
    recently had a major stroke, and had been prescribed four medications.
    He also pointed out that I had no history of mental illness, and he asked
    that the conditon be rejected.

  - The Judge asked the Federal Prosecuter if he had a reply.  "No."

  - The Judge ruled that only the standard release conditions were to be
    applied.  My next Federal Hearing was to be scheduled for 21 June 2021.

    (... see next document for my wife's account ...)

  <top>