Portland Protesters and Counter-Protesters Clash
Protests at night continue to get dangerous
As protests continue in multiple locations across the US over police brutality and systemic racism, some have gotten deadly. Near the end of August, two protesters had been shot by Kyle Rittenmhouse, a teenager that is part of a militia group, in Kenosha, Wisconsin and a few days later, a counter protester was shot during a protest in Portland, Oregon. Portland has been the seen of continuous protests at night since the murder of George Floyd by a police officer.
“Portland Police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased,” said the Portland Police Bureau in a statement. The statement also said that “a homicide investigation is underway.” Police Chief Chuck Lovell condemned the violence calling it “completely unacceptable” and that they “are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.”
Witness describes what he saw
Multiple videos on social media showed medics, police, and other professionals responding to the wounded victim. It has not been confirmed whether the shooting was connected to protests. Justin Dunlap, a witness, told NBC News he didn’t see where the gunshot came from because of the mace being fired during the shooting but that after the gunshot, the victim “took a few steps, then fell face down.” The man had been wearing a hat with the Patriot Prayer logo on it which has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a far-right group.
Pro-Trump demonstrators organized a caravan of 600 vehicles that would go through Portland’s city center where the Portalnd protests were planned to happen. Protesters tried to stop the caravan by standing in the streets and blocking bridges. This is when counter protesters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed as the Trump supporters fired paintball pellets and used bear spray on the protesters. The protesters responded by hurling objects at the cars in the caravan.
In a video posted on Twitter, the organizer of the caravan rally said that attendees should only carry concealed weapons and that the caravan route was being kept secret for safety reasons. Before the caravan began, they met up at a mall and drove to the city center together.
The victim had been shot several hours after the Trump supporter caravan arrived in Portland. It is unclear whether the shooting was related to the fights that broke out between those in the caravan and protesters.
Trump on Portland
Portland has been experiencing these violent nightly protests since the death of George Floyd. Trump sent federal troops to Portland to subdue the violence which Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, said was not helpful and actually further exacerbated violence in the protests at night.
Trump had been warning America of what the country would look like under democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden if he wins the presidential election in November. He claimed a violent and chaotic future if Biden wins the election, pointing to what he calls liberal cities like Portland as what the rest of America could look like under Biden.