|Far-right sympathizer wearing Patriot Prayer insignia killed in Portland|
Story by Oregon Herald staff
|Published on Sunday August 30, 2020 - 8:18 AM|
No details have yet been released details about the man shot to death at about 8:46 p.m. Saturday near Southeast Third Avenue and Southwest Alder Street nor is there any suspect information.
According to journalist Andy Ngô, far-left commenters on social media had initially claimed that the victim was black and that the shooter had been a "fascist." Though the identity and affiliation of the shooter remain unknown, the victim appears to be a white male.
Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or has first-hand video of the shooting to contact investigators.
For more than 90 continuous nights, protesters in Portland have denounced police brutality and racial injustice. The protests were spurred by the killing of George Floyd in May and gained steam after last weekend's shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
The man who was killed in Portland on Saturday night was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Portland that has clashed with protesters in the past, said New York Times reporter Mike Baker.
Earlier Saturday night, police tweeted that there had been "some instances of violence between demonstrators and counterdemonstrators" when a political rally caravanned through downtown Portland.
The tweet said officers made some arrests and asked people to avoid downtown due to traffic from the political rally.
The traffic coincided with a planned "Trump 2020 Cruise Rally in Portland" that was advertised on Facebook.
According to the posted event, participants planned to gather at the Clackamas Town Center in Clackamas, Oregon, about 17 miles southeast of Portland. They planned to line up the cars, motorcycles and trucks for the rally and travel the "Trump 2020 cruise rally route." An image posted on Facebook shows it appeared to include the downtown Portland area.
On Saturday afternoon, a large group of Trump supporters and cars gathered at the Clackamas Town Center, CNN affiliate KOIN reported. Video footage from KOIN showed pickup trucks with American flags, "Thin Blue Line" flags and Trump 2020 flags prominently displayed on the vehicles.
Later in the evening, Baker posted footage from downtown Portland. In at least one video, protesters standing on a street corner screamed and tossed items at people in a stopped white pickup truck with an American flag and the words "All Live Matter" written on a back driver's side window. The truck appears to be part of the Trump cruise rally. One of the protesters is seen lighting a Trump flag on fire as the caravan begins to drive off.
A man riding in the bed of a passing black pickup truck displaying a blue "Oregon for Trump" flag and an American flag can be seen pointing and firing a paintball gun at the protesters standing on the corner. Riders in the black truck can be seen releasing some form of spray. And as a green pickup truck passes, someone riding in its bed can be seen spraying something toward protesters. Passengers in that green truck duck as the other protesters toss something at them.
Other videos posted by the New York Times reporter showed fights breaking out between the Pro-Trump supporters and the protesters.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the chaos and criticized Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler "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 tweeted Sunday morning. "The people of Portland won't put up with no safety any longer. The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!"
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell urged people to not jump to conclusions about what led up to the shooting.
"It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place," Lovell said. "If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives. This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible."