PORTLAND • A man was shot and killed on Saturday as a large group of supporters of United States President Donald Trump travelled in a caravan through downtown Portland, Oregon, which has seen nightly protests for three consecutive months.
The pro-Trump rally drew hundreds of trucks full of supporters into the city.
At times, Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed on the streets, with people shooting with paintball guns from the beds of pickup trucks and protesters throwing objects back at them.
A video that purports to be of the shooting, taken from the far side of the street, shows a small group of people in the road outside what appears to be a parking garage. Gunfire erupts, and a man collapses in the street.
The man who was shot and killed was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Portland that has clashed with protesters in the past.
The Portland Police Bureau said that officers heard reports of gunfire shortly before 9pm and found a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. It was determined that the victim had died.
At the scene, police officers blocked off the road, and medics attended to a person who appeared to have a chest wound.
The shooting capped a volatile week in the US that began when the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, repeatedly shot a black man, Mr Jacob Blake, prompting new protests against racism and police brutality that included the cancellation of professional sports games.
During the unrest after the shooting of Mr Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident, was charged in connection with the fatal shootings of two protesters.
Portland has seen nightly demonstrations since the death of Mr George Floyd, also a black man, in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
In recent days, right-wing demonstrations have also sprung up in the city, and Mr Trump has repeatedly highlighted the unrest in Portland as evidence of the need for a tougher law-and-order response to the chaotic protests over police violence and racial injustice that have swept through many American cities.
The Trump supporters gathered earlier on Saturday in the suburbs and plotted a route for the several hundred vehicles involved in the event that would have kept them on the highways outside the city centre.
But some of the protesters headed directly downtown, where counter-protesters confronted some of the vehicles.
Some of the conflicts led to fistfights. In one encounter, someone drove over a bike, drawing the police to the scene.
While protests in Portland have persisted, their numbers have changed over time. The nightly events began with mass rallies after Mr Floyd’s death, then shrank to smaller numbers of people who repeatedly clashed with the police.
Last month, when the federal government sent camouflaged agents into the city, the protest numbers grew dramatically once again.
In more recent days, the protest crowd has typically numbered just a few hundred people.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump will travel this week to Kenosha, the White House said on Saturday. He will meet police in the Wisconsin city tomorrow and “survey damage from recent riots” triggered by Mr Blake’s shooting the previous weekend, administration spokesman Judd Deere said.
Mr Blake took at least half a dozen shots in the back in front of his small children as he leaned into his car, in an incident that triggered an outpouring of anger over yet another shooting of a black man by white police.
NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE