Protests after Portland police fatally shoot man in city park | Portland
An angry crowd of protesters gathered in a park in Portland on Friday after police fatally shot a man while responding to reports of a person with a gun.
Videos on social media showed protesters skirmishing with police, who used Mace to keep them away from the crime scene.
The Oregon city’s deputy police chief, Chris Davis, said at a news conference that a white man in his 30s was shot and killed by police, who fired both non-lethal projectiles and a gun at him. The man was pronounced dead at the scene in Lents Park, in the city’s south-east section.
Davis did not say how many shots were fired, how many officers were involved or if a gun was recovered at the scene. He did not know if the person pointed a weapon at police, he said. A witness at the scene said the man, who had removed his shirt and was blocking an intersection, appeared to be in a mental health crisis, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The man who was killed has not been identified.
Protesters were at the park within hours of the shooting.A crowd of more than 150 people, many dressed in all black and some carrying helmets, goggles and gas masks, gathered behind crime scene tape, chanting and yelling at the officers standing in front of them.
As police neared the end of an on-scene investigation at about 3pm, the crowd marched through the park, ripped down police tape and stood face-to-face with officers dressed in riot gear. The crowd remained even after police left and eventually stood in a nearby intersection, blocking traffic and chanting.
Police said later on Friday that they had used pepper spray on protesters in order to disengage. Some people hit officers with sticks and chased officers as they were leaving, police said in a news release. Officers deployed smoke canisters and then used a rubber ball distraction device, police said.
No officers were hurt and no arrests were made, according to police.
Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days.
The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, visited the scene and issued a statement urging Portland residents to “proceed with empathy and peace” while the investigation unfolds. Several vigils and protests were already planned for Friday night to address the police shooting deaths of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago and Daunte Wright in Minneapolis.
“These shootings always are traumatic for everyone involved and for our community, regardless of the circumstances,” he said. “I want to offer my sympathy to the individual involved and to their family. My thoughts also are with the officers who were involved.”
Todd Littlefield, who lives nearby, told the newspaper that he went to the park after he heard gunfire.
“I was just getting in my truck, and I heard a loud shot,” he said.
Littlefield drove to the park and saw several officers standing behind trees and their cars, ordering a man to show his hands, he said.
Juan Chavez, an attendant at the nearby AM/PM gas station, said he saw a man standing in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic, with his shirt off. He appeared to be unstable and disoriented, Chavez told the newspaper.
Police then showed up, and then the man entered the park before Chavez said he heard two gunshots.
The area where the shooting occurred is within the boundaries of operation for a new pilot project called Portland Street Response, which responds with a non-police team to calls about homelessness or people in mental health crisis, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
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