State police and law enforcement from neighbouring suburbs were ordered to Portland (Oregon) on Monday, August 31, as unrest continues in the city. Tensions are particularly high following the death of a demonstrator in downtown Portland during clashes between Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators and pro-Trump counterdemonstrators on Saturday night, August 29. Authorities are carrying out a homicide investigation into the incident, but reports indicate that the deceased was a supporter of the right-wing Portland-based group Patriot Prayer.
On Sunday, August 30, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a plan that she believes will allow peaceful protests to continue while cracking down on lawlessness. Additionally, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler warned on Sunday of an escalation of protest-related violence following a flurry of social media posts vowing revenge for Saturday's killing.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in Portland over the near term. Further associated demonstrations are also expected in the area in the near term.
Tensions and clashes between BLM protesters and counterprotesters have been recurrent in Portland for nearly three months.
Protests began worldwide after US citizen George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired and detained, and one has since been charged with second-degree murder. Protests have since spread to several cities across the US, with solidarity protests taking place throughout the world.
Demonstrations have been reignited by an incident in Kenosha (Wisconsin) on August 23, 2020, where Jacob Blake, an African American, was reportedly shot several times in the back by police officers while they were responding to an alleged domestic incident. Blake survived but was reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.
Those in Portland are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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