At least two people were arrested Monday after Trump supporters traveling from the Portland suburbs clashed with far-left counter-protesters outsid
At least two people were arrested Monday after Trump supporters traveling from the Portland suburbs clashed with far-left counter-protesters outside the Oregon State Capitol.
Ty Parker, 53, of Durango, Colo., was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and first-degree intimidation. Trenton Wolfskill, 37, of Eugene, Ore., was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported, citing an Oregon State Police spokesperson. Both have since been released.
Videos posted on social media showed several dozen people wearing military fatigues, pro-Trump T-shirts and bearing clothing and flags labeled with the names of the far-right groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, gathered on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem, Ore. Several in the group later rushed toward a slightly smaller group of counter-protesters.
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WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
One man in a bulletproof vest beat a counter-protester with what appeared to be a baseball bat, knocking him to the ground. A woman then doused the fallen counter-protester with pepper spray. Another video showed a group wearing military fatigues and carrying an American flag rush toward a counter-protester, knocking him to the ground and punching him before yelling gay slurs.
Uniformed officers with the Salem Police Department and the Oregon State Police swiftly intervened and handcuffed the perpetrators.
Earlier on Labor Day, about a thousand people attended an “Oregon For Trump 2020 Labor Day Cruise Rally” in the Clackamas Community College parking lot in Oregon City. The rally, held about 30 minutes outside Portland, was organized to show support for President Trump and federal and local law enforcement as Portland experiences three consecutive months of violent far-left demonstrations since the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
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Some people attending the rally wore shirts bearing the name Jay Danielson, a Patriot Prayer member who was shot and killed in Portland a week ago during violent protests. The suspected gunman, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was allegedly linked to the far-left group Antifa and appeared to target Danielson, law enforcement said after reviewing surveillance footage.
Reinoehl was killed by a federal fugitive task force after allegedly drawing a gun on arresting officers.
After listening to speakers at the rally Monday morning, several hundred cars, trucks, SUVs, and tractors hoisted MAGA flags and blasted “God Bless the USA” while driving down the highway in the direction toward Portland. In light of Danielson’s death, the caravan was directed not to enter Multnomah County, where Portland is located, in order “to help keep everyone safe,” according to the Facebook event page.
Still, several dozen continued past the Woodburn exit on Interstate 5 and into Salem to attend a second rally, where Trump supporters in red MAGA hats unfolded a large American flag on the steps of the Capitol, OregonLive reported.
Some members of the Proud Boys were reportedly seen armed with guns, baseball bats, sticks, and pipes before rushing toward counter-protesters, also firing paintballs at them. One video showed the group chanting “F— Antifa.” It was unclear if the counter-protesters in Salem standing across from the group were armed.
Around the same time in Portland Monday, hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters rallied in Cathedral Park and demonstrated peacefully on the 102nd consecutive day of protests in the city, KOIN-TV reported. The family-friendly event came hours after about 15 protesters were arrested in another area of Portland during demonstrations Sunday night into Monday morning that left a fire burning outside a police precinct in the north side of the city.
A crowd gathered outside the North Precinct Community Policing Center and began chanting “burn it down,” as some in the group lit a mattress on fire, the Associated Press reported. Officials warned demonstrators against entering the precinct property, saying they would be trespassing and subject to arrest. Charges for the 15 arrested included interfering with an officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning and possession of a destructive device.
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The Proud Boys announced last week they will host another rally in Portland on Sept. 26.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.