1 shot dead in Portland as rival protesters clash

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One person was shot and killed Saturday night in Portland, Oregon, as a large trailer of supporters of President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the streets, police said.It was not clear whether the shooting was linked to fighting that erupted when a caravan of around 600 vehicles was confronted by protesters in the city’s inner city.

An Associated Press freelance photographer heard three gunshots and then observed police medics working on the body of the victim, who appeared to be a white male. The freelance writer said the man was wearing a hat bearing the badge of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past.

Police did not disclose any further details and were at the scene to investigate Saturday night.

“Portland Police officers heard gunshots coming from the Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street area. They responded and located a victim with gunshot wounds in the chest. The medical department responded and determined the victim was dead, ”the Portland Police Department said. in a report.

A man is being treated after being shot on Saturday night in Portland, Oregon. Fighting erupted in the city’s downtown core as a caravan of supporters of President Donald Trump passed through the city, clashing with counter-protesters. (Paula Bronstein / The Associated Press)

Portland has been the scene of nightly protests for more than three months since the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Many of them end in vandalism and violence, and hundreds of protesters have been arrested by local and federal law enforcement since the end of May. The caravan arrived downtown just as a demonstration scheduled for Saturday was starting. Police made several arrests before the shooting and advised residents to avoid the city center.

The chaotic scene came two days after Trump cited Portland as a liberal city overrun by violence in a speech at the Republican National Convention as part of his “law and order” re-election campaign. The caravan marked the third Saturday in a row that Trump supporters gathered in the city.

Trump and other speakers at this week’s convention spoke of a violent and dystopian future if Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden wins in November and has pointed to Portland as a cautionary tale for what lies ahead for Americans.

The organizer of the pro-Trump rally, who coordinated a similar caravan in Boise, Idaho, earlier in the week, said in a video posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon that participants should only carry concealed weapons and that the route was kept secret for security reasons.

The trailer had gathered earlier in the day at a suburban shopping center and traveled as a group to the heart of Portland. Upon arriving in the city, the protesters tried to stop them by standing in the street and blocking bridges.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump attend a rally and car parade Saturday from Clackamas to Portland, Oregon. (Paula Bronstein / The Associated Press)

Videos from the scene showed sporadic fighting, as well as Trump supporters firing paintballs at opponents and using bear spray as counter-protesters threw objects at the Trump trailer.

The shooting took place shortly before 9 p.m. PT, several hours after the trailer arrived in Portland.

Black Lives Matter protests typically target police and federal buildings. Some protesters called for cuts to police budgets while the city’s mayor and some members of the black community denounced the violence, saying it was counterproductive.

Early Saturday morning, fires outside a police union building which is a frequent site of protests prompted police to declare a riot.

An accelerator was used to ignite a mattress and other debris deposited against the door of the Portland Police Association building, police said in a statement. At least one dumpster was also set on fire in the nearby street.

The commotion followed a sit-in in the lobby of the Portland mayor’s condominium on Friday night.

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