- Unidentified woman struck a series of ballet and yoga poses in front of officers
- Surreal video footage from the scene shows the woman striding towards cops
- The 'Naked Athena' protester wore nothing but a beanie and face mask
A protester dubbed 'Naked Athena' confronted Portland police wearing only a face mask and beanie.
The unidentified woman struck a series of ballet and yoga poses in front of anti-riot officers at around 1.45 am on Saturday morning.
Surreal video footage from the scene shows the woman striding towards the officers, who were in heavy protective gear including gas masks and helmets, almost completely naked.
Oregon state law is pretty lenient on public nudity, and in Portland it is only illegal to be naked in public with the intent to arouse.
The standoff comes after the city of Portland marked its 50th consecutive night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, with crowds taking to the streets to denounce racial injustice.
Officers proceed to fire pepper balls at the woman's feet and another protester is filmed rushing to protect her with a makeshift shield.
However she side-steps him to perform a series of yoga poses in front of the officers and even reclines onto the street at one point.
Her graceful poses stand in stark contrast to the heavily-armed guards.
According to Dave Killen, a photographer for The Oregonian, the officers left around 10 minutes after the naked woman showed up.
'She was incredibly vulnerable,' he told the news outlet.
'It would have been incredibly painful to be shot with any of those munitions with no clothes on.'
In Portland, courts have recognized nudity as a form of political protest which overrides public decency laws.
It comes as the city of Portland has seen daily Black Lives Matter protests decrying police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Portland police early Monday detailed another night of conflict between protesters and federal forces outside the US courthouse in Oregon's largest city, including a small fire outside the building and tear gas deployed to disperse the crowd.
A department statement said police officers did not engage with the the crowd, and that federal authorities periodically came of out of the courthouse to keep demonstrators at bay, according to police and news outlets.
Video posted online also showed protesters taking down fencing that had surrounded the courthouse.
'Dozens of people with shields, helmets, gas masks, umbrellas, bats, and hockey sticks approached the doors' before federal law enforcement came out and dispersed the crowd,' police said.
'At 1.34am people lit a fire within the portico in front of the federal courthouse. Others gathered around the fire adding wood and other debris to make it larger. At 1.42am federal law enforcement came out of the courthouse, dispersed the crowd and extinguished the fire,' the statement said.
Gas was used at least twice to remove protesters, the statement said, but Portland officers 'were not present during any of the activity' or deploy any 'CS gas'.
Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler said federal officers 'are not wanted here'.
'We haven't asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave.'
Top leaders in the US House said Sunday they were 'alarmed' by the Trump administration's tactics against protesters in Portland and other cities, including Washington, DC. They've called on federal inspectors general investigate.
'This is a matter of utmost urgency,' wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Mississippi, and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-New York, in a letter to the inspectors general of Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.
The Democratic lawmakers are seeking an investigation 'into the use of federal law enforcement agencies by the Attorney General and the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security to suppress First Amendment protected activities in Washington, D.C., Portland, and other communities across the United States'.
President Donald Trump has decried the demonstrations, and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted the protesters as 'lawless anarchists' in a visit to the city last Thursday.
'We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,' Trump tweeted Sunday. 'Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action.
'We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!'
Late Saturday, Portland police declared demonstrations near the federal courthouse a riot after saying protesters broke into the Portland Police Association building and started a fire.
Dumpster fires were also set and fencing was moved and made into barricades, police said.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued Homeland Security and the Marshals Service in federal court late Friday.
The complaint said unidentified federal agents have grabbed people off Portland's streets 'without warning or explanation, without a warrant, and without providing any way to determine who is directing this action'.
Rosenblum said she was seeking a temporary restraining order to 'immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians'.
It's unclear whether anyone was arrested or detained during the protest Sunday night.