Portland Protests: Man Shot Dead after Trump Supporters Clash with BLM Protesters
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have clashed over the violence that has erupted at protests in Portland, Oregon.
President Trump blamed the Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, for allowing the “death and destruction of his city”.
However, Joe Biden said the president was “recklessly encouraging violence”.
A man was shot dead in Portland on August 29 as elsewhere in the city a pro-Trump rally clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.
Portland has become a flashpoint for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 triggered a wave of national and international outrage.
George Floyd Death: US Cities Placed under Curfew Following Violent Protests
Black Lives Matter: Minneapolis Protesters Clash with Police over George Floyd’s Death
Eric Garner death: Thousands protest in Staten Island over police chockhold death
Mayor Ted Wheeler warned against people coming to the city to seek revenge amid a flurry of social media posts.
He said: “For those of you saying on Twitter this morning that you plan to come to Portland to seek retribution, I’m calling on you to stay away.”
The mayor also hit back at President Trump’s criticism, saying it was the president who had “created the hate and the division”.
He said: “I’d appreciate it if the president would support us or stay the hell out of the way.”
Some activists have called for Mayor Wheeler’s resignation, saying that he was not capable of resolving the protests.
In a series of tweets on August 30, President Trump said that “Portland will never recover with a fool for a mayor”, and suggested sending federal forces to the city.
He also accused Joe Biden of being “unwilling to lead”.
The president tweeted: “…The people of Portland, like all other cities & parts of our great Country, want Law & Order. The Radical Left Democrat Mayors, like the dummy running Portland, or the guy right now in his basement unwilling to lead or even speak out against crime, will never be able to do it!”
In response, Joe Biden said in a statement: “[President Trump] may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong – but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is.”
Law and order is a major theme of Donald Trump’s bid for re-election, painting the Democrats and their candidate Joe Biden as soft on crime.
Earlier, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Democrats officials in Portland had allowed “lawlessness and chaos” to develop, saying “all options” were on the table to resolve the situation.
Democrats have responded by saying the violence is happening under President Trump’s presidency, and accuse him of worsening the situation with his rhetoric.
Police are investigating the shooting in Portland, which has seen months of demonstrations.
Portland police said in a statement: “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.”
According to Oregon Live, a “camouflage gear” with “thin blue line patches” was seen next to the body – a common sign of support for the police.
Another image shows police trying to restrain a man who was apparently with the person who was shot.
Police have not identified the dead man or specified whether the shooting was directly linked to the clashes which broke out elsewhere in the city.
The founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, adding that he was “a good friend and a supporter”, the Associated Press reports.
The shooting came amid fights between the Trump supporters and BLM protesters in Portland.
Tension rose after a convoy of some 600 vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers gathered at a mall in Clackamas County on the outskirts before entering Portland’s downtown.
According to police, 10 people were arrested over the clashes.