A MAN was shot dead in Portland, Oregon as a large demonstration of supporters of President Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.
The city has become a focus for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25th May triggered a wave of national and international outrage.
Federal forces were sent by President Trump to Portland in July in what was described as a move to prevent violence.
In a statement, Portland police said: ‘Portland police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.’
The man did not survive, they said.
Oregon Live reported that ‘camouflage gear’ with ‘thin blue line patches’ was seen next to the body – a common sign of support for the police.
The man was wearing a hat linked to far-right group Patriot Prayer, the New York Times reports.
Another image shows police trying to restrain a man who was apparently with the person who was shot.
The shooting came amid clashes between Trump supporters and BLM protesters in the city centre.
Tension rose after a convoy of some 600 vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers gathered at a mall in Clackamas county on the outskirts before entering Portland’s city centre.
Police reported ‘some instances of violence’ between ‘demonstrators and counter-demonstrators’ and said some arrests had been made.
The violence followed last week’s Republican convention which formally nominated Trump as the party’s presidential candidate.
Accepting the nomination in a speech on the White House lawn, he sought to characterise Portland as another Democratic-run city prey to ‘rioting, looting, arson, and violence’.
The clashes also come in the wake of the shooting by police of a black man in Wisconsin. Jacob Blake was seriously wounded last week after he was shot in the back seven times by an officer in Kenosha as he was getting into a car.
President Trump has said he will visit Kenosha, which has seen widespread violence.
In July, federal officers drew strong criticism for cracking down on crowds in Portland – against the wishes of the local authorities.
Federal officers in unmarked vehicles appeared to forcefully seize protesters from the streets and detain them without justification.
Portland has also seen violence between far-right groups, such as Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, and left-wing counter-demonstrators known as Antifa, or anti-fascist movement.