One person was killed and five others were injured in a violent shooting during a demonstration against police shootings in Portland over the weekend, escalating tensions among the city’s social justice campaigners once again, officials said.
When police got to the site in the Rose City Park area on Saturday night, they discovered that a lady had died, according to the Portland Police Bureau. According to the police, two males and three other women were brought to a local hospital for treatment.
Several witnesses were uncooperative with arriving authorities, according to the police in a statement issued on Sunday. The crime scene “was quite chaotic,” according to the police. “The vast majority of those there departed without speaking with police.”
According to the statement, authorities think that a big number of individuals were either there when the crime occurred or videotaped it. It was said in the statement that “this is a highly convoluted occurrence, and detectives are attempting to fit this jigsaw together without having all of the parts.”
Another victim, Dajah Beck, who will be 39 on Monday and who was reached via her attorney, said that she was shot twice in the head. One of the bullets went through her side, while the other grazed her right knee. Ms. Beck said that she was a member of a volunteer motorcade committee that was tasked with developing a safety plan and rerouting traffic in advance of the march. According to her, “we’re not a part of the demonstration,” and she went on to say that no one in the motorcade group was carrying a weapon.
People in the group attempted to de-escalate the situation. He began firing, however, when Ms. Beck turned her gaze away from him and onto one of her companions, according to her account. As a result of the shooting, she fell to the ground and crawled beneath a truck tyre for protection. In the next moments, “the first thing that I noticed was my two buddies on the ground, covered in blood,” she said. One of them happened to be the lady who passed away. Ms. Beck said that at that moment, the gunman had been restrained and that he was being surrounded by others.
It is believed that the shooting occurred near a park in Portland that has served as the staging location for a number of anti-police-killing demonstrations in recent years. Several rounds, according to neighbours, were fired.
According to leaflets distributed online before of the event, protesters planned to gather around 7 p.m. and begin marching about 8 p.m. local time from the area surrounding Normandale Park. There were no responses to requests for feedback from several of the campaigners. Demonstrators were cautioned by certain activist organisations to minimise the sharing of firsthand reports on social media, whether in the form of photos or writing.
The march on Saturday night was organised in part by Letha Winston, whose son Patrick Kimmons was tragically shot by police officers in Portland, Oregon, in 2018. The cops were reacting to an incident at the time. According to the findings of a grand jury, lethal force was justified. Ms. Winston has participated in racial justice marches, which she has done on a weekly basis at times.
Amir Locke, 22, was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis early on Feb. 2 when they were carrying out a search warrant, according to information shared on social media. The demonstration on Saturday was in reaction to his death, which was reported on social media. The assassination of Mr. Locke, who was of African-American descent, sparked outrage in Portland.
Mr. Locke was not the objective of the police raid, which was carried out on the authority of a so-called no-knock warrant, which does not require homeowners to be notified of the search. Since then, the city of Minneapolis has prohibited the use of such warrants.
Even though the police in Portland have been criticised for overreacting to the demonstrations — the department has acknowledged that officers used force more than 6,000 times during protests in 2020, prompting the department to issue a reprimand — the constant clashes, particularly those that have devolved into vandalism, have irritated many Portland residents, including the mayor.
On Saturday night, Eric Ward, executive director of the Western States Center, a non-profit organisation dedicated to combating white nationalism, released a statement condemning the violence in Charlottesville.
Political violence, regardless of its source, has the effect of undermining social movements that strive for a more inclusive society, according to the statement released by the president. The mayor said that “political violence” had no place in the “Portland we’re fighting to create.” “Whether it’s police brutality, paramilitaries, vigilantes, or misdirected activities in favour of police reform,” he added.