Governor steps up Portland patrols after fatal shooting

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PORTLAND, ORE. – Oregon State Police to patrol Portland’s nightly protests with the help of agents from neighboring communities, seeking to combat vandalism and violence following the fatal shooting of a right-wing supporter Trump as the city approaches 100 consecutive nights of Black Lives Matter protests. The plan, announced Sunday night by Democratic housekeeper Kate Brown, also creates a group including Mayor Ted Wheeler and local black leaders to help chart the course for Portland, a liberal city struggling to regain its foothold in the national spotlight. .

President Donald Trump has made Portland and its Democratic leaders a frequent target and the centerpiece of his law and order re-election campaign theme. He demanded that local and state leaders call the National Guard after Saturday’s fatal shooting.

A supporter of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group was killed in skirmishes between Trump supporters who led a caravan through town and Black Lives Matter protesters who had gathered for another night of protests.

Police did not make an arrest in this case. The victim was identified by the founder of Patriot Prayer as Aaron “Jay” Danielson of Portland.

“Portland is a mess, and has been for many years. If that mayor’s joke doesn’t clean it up, we’ll go do it for them! Trump tweeted on Monday, a day after he tweeted that the mayor was a “jerk” and a “weak and pathetic Democratic mayor.”

Brown has so far refused to send the National Guard to Portland, but instead announced a coalition of several law enforcement agencies to handle the crisis in the short term. In a statement, she said right-wing groups like the Patriot Prayer had come to Portland “in search of a fight” and vowed to stop more bloodshed on the city streets.

“We all need to come together – elected officials, community leaders, all of us – to stop the cycle of violence,” she said. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening and working together. ”

Some leaders of the black community were unhappy with the plan to put more agents on the streets. Portland police have been criticized for using tear gas against protesters and have been criticized for being too aggressive.

“If you’re right there, the chances of being arrested at this point are almost so high as to be guaranteed,” said Shanice Clarke, one of the founders of the Black Millennial Movement and a frequent protester.

Clarke also criticized a press conference held by Wheeler on Sunday, when he engaged directly with Trump in what she called “political theater.”

The mayor needs to do more than “just show up to a press conference and say it’s Trump’s fault” to make black people feel heard in Portland, she said.

Oregon State Police demonstrated Sunday night in support of Portland Police. Authorities arrested 29 people and declared a gathering illegal.

State Police also resumed patrols in Portland in July after two weeks of massive protests against the presence of federal agents in the city. This time around, they will also provide local police with more than two dozen body cameras.

Local agencies that will assist Portland police – including deputy sheriffs from two more conservative suburban counties – will be indemnified from any legal liability by the city under the plan and will likely have their expenses covered by Portland, Brown said.

Police released little information about Saturday’s fatal shooting, and Chief Chuck Lovell said on Sunday that investigators were still gathering evidence. Previously, the agency had launched a plea for any information related to the murder, including videos, photos or testimonies.

Patriot Prayer is based in Washington state and was founded in 2016. Since the start of 2017, his supporters have been coming to Portland periodically to organize rallies for Trump, raising tensions long before the national outrage over the murder. by George Floyd’s police.

Many of the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland have ended with vandalism against federal and municipal property, including the Federal Courthouse and City Hall. In July, Trump sent more than 100 federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security to protect federal property – a move that instead revived the protests.

Thousands of people clashed with federal agents every night for two weeks.

These agents withdrew on July 31, but smaller nightly protests continued in pockets of the city. More than 600 people have been arrested since the end of May.

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