Portland sees most violent month in 30 years
As federal troops withdrew from downtown Portland over the weekend, Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter to call upon local police to protect free speech – even as police said the city booked it’s most violent month in 30 years.
“Last night, the world was watching Portland,” wrote Brown in a tweet. “Here’s what they saw: Federal troops left downtown. Local officials protected free speech. And Oregonians spoke out for Black Lives Matter, racial justice, and police accountability through peaceful, non-violent protest.”
The world also saw protesters burning books reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
“Leftwing barbarians in Portland throwing Bibles into a fire reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Lost Crusade scene in Nazi Germany where Hitler’s followers are burning Bibles and other books. We need an honest conversation about the barbarians and totalitarians among us,” tweeted former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Previously, protesters had featured a severed pig’s head wearing a police hat, set on fire atop an American flag.
While Brown claimed the protests were non-violent following the withdrawal of federal agents, police still declared the assembly unlawful.
“Police stated that protesters threw glass bottles and directed lasers at officers,” reported KOMO News. “Just before 10 p.m., Portland police declared an unlawful assembly and told people to disperse or they may be subject to use of force or be arrested. Police could be seen charging, multiple times, at protesters in the area.”
Police stated that some protesters wearing “press” on their clothing participated in attacks on police. Two individuals were arrested while police cleared the area. Organizers expressed disappointment about the lack of interest in non-violent protests.
“A relatively small crowd of hundreds gathered Sunday evening near downtown Portland Justice Center for the 67th straight day of protests against police violence and systemic racism. Some among them expressed frustration at the dwindling numbers,” reported The Oregonian.
Sunday was the 65th night of protests in Portland since George Floyd died while being arrested in Minneapolis. Police said that later that day, 150 rounds were shot into an apartment building nearby, although it’s unclear if the shooting was related to protests.
“One round struck an adult female victim in [the] arm,” said a statement by Portland Police. “Responding officers applied a tourniquet and she was transported to the hospital by ambulance with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries have been reported to police, however bullets struck at least 8 occupied apartments and 7 vehicles.”
The latest shooting comes as police in Portland say that July was the deadliest month for the city since the 1980s, with 15 killed this year.
“July was also the first month Portland Police didn’t have the Gun Violence Reduction Team as a resource to help solve these crimes,” reported KATU News. “The city disbanded the unit earlier this year following the results of a 2018 audit.”
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