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Sunday, July 21, 2024

State Police to Return to Portland Following Deadly Shooting

'This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter...'

(Headline USA) 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 launching projectiles.

Trump called Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, a “fool” because he has allowed mayhem to proliferate in the liberal city. The visibly angry mayor — who also serves as commissioner of police — 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,” said Wheeler, who in July criticized the presence of federal officers and even blamed them for the violence that has continued since they left.

“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 mostly peaceful conservative 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!”

Late Sunday Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, another Democrat liberal who has rejected federal help, 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.

To this point rioters who have been arrested have been re-released to destroy and attack law enforcement more.

Also, Brown said Oregon State Police will return to Portland to help local police, and nearby law enforcement agencies will also be asked to assist.

“We all must come together—elected officials, community leaders, all of us—to stop the cycle of violence,” she said in a statement.

Police have released little information about the fatal shooting and Chief Chuck Lovell said Sunday that investigators are still gathering evidence, including surveillance video from area businesses. Earlier, the agency released a plea for any information related to the killing, including videos, photos or eyewitness accounts.

Patriot Prayer is based in Washington state and was founded in 2016. Since early 2017, its supporters have periodically come to Portland to hold rallies for Trump.

Portland has seen nearly 100 consecutive nights of Marxist Black Lives Matter protests — none of which have had anything to do with Patriot Prayer — and many have ended with vandalism to federal and city property, including police precincts, a county jail, the federal courthouse and City Hall.

On Sunday, Portland authorities urged people to stay away from the downtown as they try to de-escalate tensions.

After the shooting, the president shared a video of his supporters driving into Portland and called those in Saturday’s caravan “GREAT PATRIOTS!”

Wheeler begged those who wanted to come to Portland to “seek retribution” to stay away.

“If you’re from out of town and you’re reading something on social media — if you’re reading any facts on social media — they’re probably wrong because we don’t have all the facts yet,” Wheeler said. “This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother’s basement.”

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

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