State police return to Portland after protest shooting; Trump plans to visit Kenosha

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan to curb violence in Portland as the state’s largest city was reeling after a fatal weekend shooting following clashes between Trump supporters and counter protesters.

Brown said Sunday that Oregon State Police would be returning to Portland to help local authorities and called for other local law enforcement agencies in the state to provide help amid the nightly protests that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd.

A man was fatally shot Sunday shortly after a caravan of vehicles carrying Trump supporters rolled through Portland, drawing heated counter protests. Founder of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, and called him a “good friend.” 

“Rest In Peace Jay!” President Donald Trump tweeted. Trump blasted protesters and Democratic leaders Sunday morning, calling Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler a “fool” and blaming him and others for the violence in the city.

“That’s classic Trump,” an angry Wheeler said during a news conference. “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.”

On Sunday, police declared an unlawful assembly and several were detained as authorities tried to urge people away from downtown and de-escalate tensions.

Here’s what we know Monday:

What happened during the Portland shooting?

Police provided few details about the shooting Saturday evening and said it wasn’t clear whether it was politically motivated.

Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said no arrests have been made and called for peace. 

“The issue with firearms is very troubling to us, but people do have a constitutional right to carry firearms legally,” Lovell said. “So, it’s hard to prevent. Some of the instances that take place, you’re talking split-second, a couple of seconds. A lot of times we’re not right there to see things happen.

The caravan of Trump supporters rolled through Portland Saturday evening following a rally in nearby Clackamas. 

Fights and other skirmishes broke out between the groups. By 8:30 p.m., the caravan had left downtown, and 15 minutes later, the shooting occurred.

What is Patriot Prayer? Right-wing group linked to Portland confrontations

Victim was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat

Videos and photos of the shooting spread on social media, and images showed the man wearing a Patriot Prayer hat.

“We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived,” Gibson wrote on his Facebook page.

Patriot Prayer is a right-wing group “about fighting corruption, big government, and tyranny using God for strength and the power of love,” Gibson wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

Based in Washington, the group has rallied Trump supporters for demonstrations in Portland since 2017.

On Saturday, the group had organized a “rally for freedom” for the Tip Top Tavern in Vancouver, Washington, protests “intimidation and harassment by the state” amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Gibson arrived in Portland on Saturday night after the shooting and was briefly corralled in a nearby gas station by angry protester.

Oregon Gov. Brown: Right-wing groups came ‘looking for a fight’

Brown unveiled a “unified law enforcement plan” Sunday night aimed at ending “violence and arson” in Portland while also protecting “free speech.”

The plan calls on law enforcement agencies from around the state to aid local authorities in Portland. Oregon State Police would be deployed to free up investigators with the Portland Police Bureau to make arrests.

Brown’s plan also called on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute arson and other violent offenses. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will also provide resources, Brown said.

“We all must come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other, and working together.”

Brown added: “The right-wing group Patriot Prayer and self-proclaimed militia members drove into downtown Portland last night, armed and looking for a fight. Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.

“Time and again, from Charlottesville to Kenosha to Portland, we have seen the tragic outcome when armed right-wing vigilantes take matters into their own hands. Gun violence is never, ever the answer.”

Portland protests continue for nearly 100 consecutive nights

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Portland for nearly 100 hundred nights to demand changes to law enforcement and an end to systemic racism and injustice.

The unrest began in the wake of the death of Floyd, a Black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day.

Floyd’s death sparked massive protests around the country in the days that followed, including Portland. The size of the unrest in Portland has ebbed and flowed, but the city drew national attention in July after Trump sent in federal agents. The move reignited the protests and led to a rise in tensions as the agents were seen making arrests in unmarked vehicles and using tear gas and other violent tactics. Protesters have lit fireworks, started fires and vandalized buildings throughout the demonstrations.

More than 600 people have been arrested since late May.

Kenosha: Trump plans visit; 175 arrested since protests began

President Donald Trump on Tuesday plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, to survey the city following a violent week of protests in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a white Kenosha police officer and is paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting prompted calls for justice and unrest, and last week during a protest, a self-described militia member fatally shot two people and wounded another. Kyle Rittenhouse faces murder charges in connection with the shooting.

Trump also plans to meet with law enforcement during the trip, which was announced Saturday. No other details were immediately available.

More on Kenosha:Wisconsin Gov. Evers asks Trump to ‘reconsider’ planned visit

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Sunday sent a letter to Trump urging him to “reconsider” the visit. He said the past week has been “particularly difficult” and community across the state are dealing with “extraordinary grief.” 

Evers said Kenosha is “exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community,” but is also working to rebuild. 

Also Sunday, Kenosha police said they had arrested 175 people tied to the unrest in the city following the shooting of Blake.

Most were curfew violations, though others included charges ranging from carrying concealed weapons, burglary and possession of controlled substances. More than 20 firearms were seized.

Meanwhile Sunday, scores of police supporters marched through downtown Kenosha, a day after thousands had marched in the same city against police brutality. 

Marchers wore shirts with messages such as “back the blue,” waved American flags and applauded when law enforcement vehicles drove past.

Contributing: John Bacon and Jordan Culver, USA TODAY; Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press

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