Portland, Nov 5 (IANS) As counting of votes of the US presidential election was still underway, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has extended an executive order to create a joint incident command structure to maintain peace, protect free speech, and prevent poll-related violence in Portland city, which witnessed massive anti-racism protests earlier this year.
The order, which had been set to expire at 5 p.m on Wednesday, has been extended until at 5 p.m Friday, unless earlier rescinded or extended, Xinhua news agency quoted an official announcement as saying.
Brown has also directed the Oregon National Guard to place its members trained in crowd control on standby in the event they are needed to support law enforcement efforts.
“Across the US, elections officials are working hard to ensure that every vote is counted, and it may be several days until we know the results of this election,” Brown was quoted as saying in the statement issued on Wednesday.
“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis.
“All Oregonians have the right to free expression and peaceful assembly. But political violence, intimidation, and property destruction will not be tolerated,” she added.
According to an Associated Press (AP) aggregate, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was currently leading in Oregon by 57.5 per cent, while President Donald Trump was trailing by 40.2 per cent.
Portland had become a flashpoint for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, which triggered a wave of national and international outrage.