One person was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night during clashes between supporters of Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter protesters, prompting the US president to slam local Democrats and repeat calls for “law and order”.
Police in Portland said one person was shot in the chest and killed shortly before 9pm local time. They did not identify the victim and cautioned that a “great deal of work remains to be done”.
The Associated Press said the victim was a man wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a rightwing group. Video of the apparent shooting circulated on social media.
“Homicide detectives are aware of videos circulating on social media that show the shooting,” local police said in a statement. “It is important for detectives to get a full and accurate picture of what happened before, during, and after the shooting.”
Protests have taken place in Portland for months, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earlier this summer. The demonstrations have often descended into violence and vandalism, and have resulted in hundreds of arrests. They have sparked ire from Mr Trump and congressional Republicans.
Saturday’s shooting happened amid widespread clashes between pro-Trump demonstrators and Black Lives Matter activists, though it remained unclear whether the two incidents were linked.
Portland police said a “caravan of hundreds of vehicles” had made its way through the city’s downtown on Saturday night. Video showed the vehicles carrying pro-Trump signs and waving American flags. Mr Trump retweeted one video showing a long-line of flag-waving vehicles heading for Portland, commenting: “GREAT PATRIOTS!”
Police arrested 10 people for disorderly conduct and other similar charges after “fights, disturbances and collisions” broke out.
Mr Trump took to Twitter on Sunday morning to slam the city’s leadership and call for the National Guard to be deployed.
“The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching [sic] and incompetent mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing,” the president wrote in a tweet. “The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer. The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!”
“Our great National Guard could solve these problems in less than 1 hour. Local authorities must ask before it is too late,” Mr Trump added. “People of Portland, and other Democrat run cities, are disgusted with Schumer, Pelosi, and their local “leaders”. They want Law & Order!”
“Law and order” has been a constant refrain from the president as he seeks re-election in November. Mr Trump has argued that only he can restore order to US streets, after a four-day Republican nominating convention last week and civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, last weekend.
The White House said late on Saturday that the president would go to Kenosha on Tuesday to meet law enforcement and “survey damage”.