US President Trump and his Democratic challenger Biden have exchanged blows over the new wave of violence that is spilling over in Portland, Oregon. The Republican president blamed the Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler for giving green signal to the “death and destruction of his city”.
The Democratic Presidential nominee blamed his rival for November election for “recklessly encouraging violence” in the country. On Saturday a man was shot dead in the city as Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter campaigners crossed each other’s paths.
In an already heated up political environment, Portland has emerged as a new flashpoint for protests against police brutality and racism. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was the start of demonstrations that were catalyzed by the shooting of Jacob Blake. Mayor Wheeler warned against taking law into their hands after things were seen boiling over in the social media posts.
“For those of you saying on Twitter this morning that you plan to come to Portland to seek retribution, I’m calling on you to stay away,” he said.
He also blasted Trump, saying it was the Republican who had sowed “the hate and division”.
“I would appreciate if the President would support us or stay the hell out of the way,” he said. Some activists have demanded the Wheeler to step down, saying he didn’t have the capacity to create peace in the city.
The president meanwhile took to twitter on Sunday and in a flurry of tweets said that “Portland will never recover with a fool for a mayor”, and suggested that the city be given in to the custody of Federal agents. He also criticized Biden for not being willing to lead.
Trump tweeted: “The People of Portland, like all other cities & parts of our great country, want Law and Order. The Radical Left Democrat Mayors, like the dummy running Portland, or the guy right now in his basement unwilling to lead or ever speak out against crime, will never be able to do it!”.
Former VP, Biden hitting back at Trump’s remarks, said: “Trump may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong – but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is.”
Law and Order is both a major challenge and theme for GOP President who constantly attempts to paint his Democratic opponent as soft on crime. Earlier, acting United States Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Democrat leadership in Portland has allowed “lawlessness and chaos” to develop, saying “all options” were on the table to resolve the issue. Democrats on the other hand have blamed Trump administration for inciting violence and worsening the situation with their conservative agendas.
Police are investigating the shooting incident that killed one person.
“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,” Portland Police said in a statement. Oregon live have reported that the victim wear “camouflage gear” with thin blue line patches – a common sign of support used by far-right supporters in advocacy of police. Another image shows police trying to control a man who was apparently accompanying the white man shot during the unrest. Portland police have so far not revealed the identity of the dead man or specified whether the shooting resulted because of clashes between opposing demonstrators.
Far-right group Patriot Prayer has identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, adding that he was “a good friend and a supporter”, according to the AP agency reports. Aaron was shot during the parallel pro-Trump rallies and BLM demonstrations in the city.
Tensions rose after a convoy of 600 vehicles carrying around 1,000 Trump supporters arrived at a mall in Clackamas county before eventually reaching downtown Portland. 10 people involved in the clashes were arrested by the police.