State police returning to Portland following deadly shooting

(Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland on Saturday.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police will return to Portland to help local authorities after the fatal shooting of a man following clashes between President Donald Trump supporters and counter-protesters that led to an argument between the president and the city’s mayor over who was to blame for the violence.

Protesters were back on the streets for a demonstration Sunday night outside a public safety building. Police declared an unlawful assembly and detained several people after saying protesters were seen throwing projectiles.

After Trump called Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, a “fool” and faulted him for allowing mayhem to proliferate in the liberal city, the visibly angry mayor lashed out at the president during a Sunday news conference, addressing him in the first person through the TV cameras.

“That’s classic Trump. Mr. President, how can you think that a comment like that, if you’re watching this, is in any way helpful? It’s an aggressive stance, it is not collaborative. I certainly reached out, I believe in a collaborative manner, by saying earlier that you need to do your part and I need to do my part and then we both need to be held accountable,” Wheeler said.

“Let’s work together…Why don’t we try that for a change?”

The testy news conference followed a chaotic 24 hours in Portland that began when Saturday evening when a caravan of about 600 vehicles packed with Trump supporters drove through the liberal city and was met with counterprotesters. Skirmishes broke out between the groups and, about 15 minutes after the caravan left the city, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was fatally shot.

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson. He called the victim a “good friend,” but provided no further details. Danielson apparently also went by the name Jay Bishop, according to Patriot Prayer’s Facebook page.

“We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived,” Gibson said in a Facebook post.

Trump retweeted the victim’s name and wrote, “Rest in peace Jay!”

It wasn’t clear if the shooting was related to the clashes in Portland, which has become a flashpoint in the national Black Lives Matter protests since George Floyd was killed in May and an increasing centerpiece in Trump’s law-and-order re-election campaign theme.

Late Sunday Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released details of a plan to address the violence in Portland while protecting free speech. She said the district attorney’s office in Multnomah County, which includes Portland, will prosecute serious criminal offenses and the sheriff’s office will work with other agencies to hold people arrested for violent behavior and ensure there is adequate jail space.

 

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