One person has been shot dead as protesters from rival groups clashed late into Saturday night (local time) in the US city of Portland, after a pro-Trump cavalcade drove through the city inciting havoc.
Police said the violence took place in the downtown area, forcing them to make multiple arrests.
“A political rally is caravanning throughout downtown Portland. There have been some instances of violence between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators,” Portland police said on Twitter. “Officers have intervened and in some cases made arrests.”
A local NBC affiliate quoted police saying one person had died in a shooting. No details about the identity of the deceased were provided.
“I can confirm a shooting, one person deceased, in the area of SW 3rd and Alder, and that we are in the early stages of a homicide investigation,” a police representative was quoted as saying.
Videos posted to social media show nasty clashes with Trump supporters using mace spray and paintball guns against opponents.
Multimedia Journalist Cory Elia shared a video on Twitter that shows several utes flying USA and Trump 2020 election flags driving through protesters and spraying them with what he described as “mace”.
The journalist also captured one truck firing “projectiles” into crowds of counter protesters, saying one hit him in the mouth.
“This truck start [sic] shooting at counter-protesters and then came under attack. I got shot right in the corner of my mouth by a projectile,” he wrote, along with a video of the incident.
New York Times journalist Mike Baker filmed Trump supporters firing “pepper spray” and paintballs at close range into crowds.
At one point demonstrators attempted to block the caravan of vehicles, some throwing eggs in retaliation.
The violent clashes were filmed in downtown Portland where rallies against police brutality have continued for more than three months since the death of George Floyd on May 25, and escalated into larger protests against federal police violence.
Driving through crowds and macing out of vehicles at SW 4th and Washington. pic.twitter.com/dCNJxYlkYn
— Cory Elia (@TheRealCoryElia) August 30, 2020
Portland police said they made arrests after a union building was set on fire.
As the caravan of Trump supporters continued to move through the city, other demonstrators reported unverified shootings with victims reportedly injured.
“A shooting just occurred on Second and Morrison St. Witnesses tell me they heard two shots, and one victim on the ground,” Portland Independent Documentarians tweeted.
The Daily Beast reported at least 600 vehicles were involved in the caravan of Trump supporters, with organisers of the event describing it as a “concealed carry” event, despite several people displaying weapons.
Clashes. Trump people unload paintballs and pepper spray. They shot me too. pic.twitter.com/PwU5pZMLnV
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) August 30, 2020
Trump plans visit to Wisconsin
Ongoing protests have been seen in Washington DC over the weekend as well as in Wisconsin following the latest police shooting of a black man.
About 1000 people have joined a mile-long march in Kenosha, Wisconsin, chanting "Black Lives Matter" and "No justice, no peace" as US President Donald Trump announced plans to visit the city next week.
Jacob Blake Sr, father of the 29-year-old black man whose shooting by a white police officer on Sunday sparked the unrest, called on protesters to refrain from looting and vandalism, which had overshadowed peaceful protests before a tense calm set in the past three nights.
"If we tear it up we have nothing," he told a park gathering in support of his son, Jacob Blake Jr.
"Stop it. Show 'em for one night we don't have to tear up nothing."
The shooting of Mr Blake, in front of three of his children, turned the mostly white city of 100,000 people south of Milwaukee into the latest flashpoint in a summer of US-wide demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
Trump will visit Kenosha on Tuesday (local tine) to meet law enforcement officials and assess damage in the city, a White House official said.
Mr Blake survived but was left badly wounded and paralysed from the waist down. Anger at his seemingly gratuitous shooting, which saw him shot seven times in the back, led to clashed between protesters and police.
On Tuesday night (local time), a white teenager with a semi-automatic rifle shot three demonstrators, and two of them died.
The 17-year-old suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, was arrested on Wednesday near his Illinois home close to the Wisconsin border. He will be extradited to face charges including first-degree intentional homicide. His lawyers say he will argue self-defence.
Since midweek, the unrest has subsided in Kenosha. By Friday (local time), more than 1000 National Guard soldiers were on the ground.
On Saturday, people painted messages of unity on boards protecting storefronts after many businesses were burned to the ground in arson attacks and vandalism.
Residents hoped calm would hold for a fourth night as protesters, some wearing "Justice for Jacob" masks, spoke about the need for racial justice.
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