Portland Braces as Proud Boys Converge in Defiance: Protest Wrap
Right-wing militants, some in helmets and body armor, began converging on Portland on Saturday for a rally expected to attract thousands of pro-Trump, “law-and-order” protesters.
Oregon declared a state of emergency Friday out of worry that groups of so-called “Proud Boys” would clash with Black Lives Matter and other demonstrators. Many on Twitter cast it as a showdown between Antifa, the loosely configured left-wing movement, and the Proud Boys.
Hundreds linked to Proud Boys have gathered in the city, the Oregonian reported, with some carrying guns, baseball bats, magazine clips, knives and batons. Two arrests had been made as of noon local time, and a shield was confiscated.
“Officers will be looking out for other dangerous items being brought to the events,” said Chris Liedle, spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, said on behalf of the state’s unified command. “Law enforcement officers are conducting high visibility patrols and monitoring the events closely.”
Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said a “massive influx” of troopers would work to keep the groups apart. The protest comes a month after Aaron Danielson, a man affiliated with a white power group, was killed by an anti-fascist protester during a similar confrontation.
Governor Kate Brown said Friday she expected a significant crowd, many from out of state, and some armed. “The pattern of these particular groups is clear: to intimidate, instigate and inflame,” she said. “And these types of demonstrations in the past have often ended in fist fights and sometimes escalated to bloodshed.”
Law enforcement officials said tear gas would be used if needed, amid controversy over its deployment to disperse crowds.
Breonna Taylor’s family is joining the call for Kentucky’s attorney general to release all information related to the investigation into her fatal shooting after a grand jury this week chose not to file murder charges against any of the police officers.
The family is demanding that all body camera footage, police files and transcripts of the grand jury proceedings be released, Associated Press reported. A third night of protests was held in Louisville following the grand jury’s decision. The demonstration, which started peacefully, eventually led to clashes with the police, and police in riot gear fired flash bang devices to disperse the crowd, AP said. Two people were arrested.
“I am an angry Black woman. I am not angry for the reasons that you would like me to be. But angry because our Black women keep dying at the hands of police officers — and Black men,” AP cited a statement by Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, that was read by a relative.
A Kentucky lawmaker who sponsored a bill to end no-knock warrants was among the protesters arrested Thursday night in Louisville. State Representative Attica Scott, the state’s only Black female legislator, was released from jail Friday morning after being charged with first-degree rioting, a felony, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Scott was attending a demonstration after Kentucky’s governor issued another plea to the state attorney general to release all information from the probe.
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In Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren named Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan, a Black woman, as the new interim police chief. Chief La’Ron Singletary was fired after a six-month investigation into the death of Daniel Prude unearthed a video of the police putting a hood over his head. The video set off days of protest and clashes with the police.
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— With assistance by Ian Fisher
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