According to reports, the victim was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a Portland-based far-right group that has organized rallies attended by white nationalists.
A day-long standoff between Trump supporters and Portland protestors ended in violence last night.
According to The New York Times, a man was shot and killed as a pro-Trump caravan made way through the city, inciting altercations with protestors by spraying mace and shooting paintballs from the back of pick-up trucks. The victim’s hat featured the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a Portland-based far-right group behind rallies and demonstrations that have been known to draw members of adjacent white nationalist groups. Portland Police responded to a gunfire report near a parking garage in the city around 9pm. Upon arrival, police discovered the victim with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. No information on the gunman has been released.
Protests in Portland have been a day-and-night occurrence in the city since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. At the onset, they garnered thousands, but in more recent weeks, have drawn just a few hundred demonstrators in a section of the city’s downtown area that houses federal court buildings. Some gatherings outside the courts resulted in property damage, which sparked clashes between protestors and the city’s police force, who have enacted brute anti-riot tactics in handling mostly peaceful demonstrators. By July, the federal government sent in agents with unmarked vehicles to tamper down the unrest. Protestors responded with swelling numbers and the city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, demanded Trump call off the agents.
For his part, Trump has only repeated the call for “law and order” in Portland, a nightly theme of the Republican National Convention, where he threatened to send agents back to the city if Wheeler was unable to handle the unrest. In a letter to the president, Wheeler refused the offer, calling it “a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city.”