Clashes between BLM activists, pro-Trump supporters
One person is dead after a shooting in downtown Portland Saturday night following skirmishes between pro-Trump and Black Lives Matter protesters, the police department confirmed in a statement.
A man was seen with a gunshot wound laying motionless on the ground in the area near where the opposing groups had fought and where mace had been deployed. He was wearing a hat that said “Patriot Prayer” — a far-right group whose leader was swarmed later Saturday night as he was chased through the streets.
“Portland Police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement. “They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased.”
Police and emergency medical vehicles surrounded the shooting victim. That in turn amplified tensions among protesters as police attempted to secure the area in a busy part of the riot-stricken city.
Police did not release information on a suspect.
Earlier in the evening, skirmishes between pro-Trump rallygoers and BLM supporters in downtown Portland left multiple people injured. The sparring groups threw punches at one another and hurled debris between vehicles, and some groups broke into open fighting in the street. Trump supporters in trucks were at one point blocked in by the Black Lives Matter activists, and began exiting their vehicles, precipitating the violence.
Blood was streaming down the face of one Trump supporter who had challenged an activist to a fight.
Tony Bartell, 26, of Vancouver, Wash., said one of the Trump rallygoers punched him after jumping out of a vehicle. Bartell had photographed his license plate, agitating a man.
“While he’s in my face and I’m recording him, someone else comes up behind me and smacks my phone on the ground,” he said. He said he was hit in the face and shaken up.
Earlier in the evening, activists met Trump supporters, some of them armed, who were waving flags and driving pickups on a highway on-ramp leading to Interstate 5.
The Black Lives Matter activists initially blocked traffic onto the highway as some yelled “Just go home!” and “Don’t come to our city!” Others urged restraint, yelling, “Don’t give them a reason!” They apparently were trying to ensure that a vehicle would not charge into the activists.
A small fight broke out at the head of the on-ramp before police arrived moments later and separated the groups, which had gathered earlier in the day at a shopping center just outside Portland. Police were seen making multiple arrests.
The truck-driving Trump supporters, some armed, planned to follow a highway route around the city, according to a route map posted on social media.
The groups were separated after skirmishes broke out, and they began hurling obscenities at each other from opposite sides of the highway.
Trump labels Portland mayor a 'fool': 'Bring in the National Guard'
President Trump ramped up his attacks against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) on Sunday after a person was killed in the Oregon city following skirmishes between supporters of the president and Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
Trump did not address the incident, however he posted multiple tweets claiming that tensions in the city demanded federal intervention. In response to a tweet documenting clashes between Trump supporters and counterprotesters, the president claimed that it was a result of incompetence from the mayor.
"The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing," Trump said. "The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer.The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!"
He added in a separate tweet that Wheeler was "incompetent, much like Sleepy Joe Biden," referencing the Democratic presidential nominee.
"Our great National Guard could solve these problems in less than 1 hour," he said. "Local authorities must ask before it is too late. People of Portland, and other Democrat run cities, are disgusted with Schumer, Pelosi, and [their] local 'leaders.' They want Law & Order!"
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