Fatal Portland shooting as rival protesters clash

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Pro-Trump procession in Portland, 29 August 2020Image copyright
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The day began with a caravan of Trump supporters converging on Portland

One person has been shot dead in Oregon as a large procession of supporters of President Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland.

Images from the scene showed medics trying to save what appeared to be a white man.

Police have not given an identity or specified whether the shooting was directly linked to the clashes which broke out in a downtown area.

Portland’s streets have been the scene of frequent protests in recent weeks.

The city has become a focus for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May triggered a wave of national and international outrage.

Federal forces were sent by President Trump to Portland in July in what was described as a move to prevent violence.

The latest pro-Trump rally was the third in a row on a Saturday.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Portland police said: “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. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased.”

Oregon Live reported that 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.

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Police restraining a man during the Portland clashes

Streets blocked

The shooting came amid fights between the Trump supporters and BLM protesters in the city centre.

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.

Video showed some people firing what local media described as pepper spray and pellets at BLM groups who had tried to prevent them entering the city by blocking streets.

Police reported “some instances of violence” between “demonstrators and counter-demonstrators” and said some arrests had been made.

The violence followed last week’s Republican convention which formally anointed Mr Trump as the party’s presidential candidate.

Accepting the nomination in a speech on the White House lawn, he sought to characterise Portland as another Democratic-run city pray to “rioting, looting, arson, and violence”.

The clashes also come in the wake of the shooting by police of a black man in Wisconsin. Jacob Blake was seriously wounded last week after he was shot in the back seven times by an officer in Kenosha as he was getting into a car.

President Trump has said he will visit Kenosha, which has seen widespread violence.

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