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Portland and Multnomah County leadership responded in a press conference Sunday to the fatal Portland shooting of a Trump supporter on Saturday night.
As Portland closes in on 100 days of rioting, Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt took to the podium at Portland City Hall to quell concerns and point fingers.
"Portland desperately needs calm," Lovell said. "We're living in extremely divided era, and it's time if for us to focus on what we have in common, and not what divides us. Lives are at stake."
When questioned about the lack of police presence where the shooting occurred, Lovell cited that Portland Police Bureau had attempted to initiate "precautionary measures" to keep the caravan on the freeway and out of downtown.
Lovell regurgitated past arguments that his bureau is limited to "finite resources" and "can't be everywhere at once."
The chief then asked protestors to not bring firearms to future rallies, although Oregon is an open-carry state.
"I've stood at this podium many times and expressed what my greatest fear would be and that is that someone would die and now someone has," Wheeler said.
Wheeler advocated for constitutionally-protected free speech of all demonstrators across the political aisle.
"I am not personally a Trump supporter, but I will defend to the death the right of a Trump supporter to protest non-violently outside my apartment," Wheeler said, though it was in fact leftist demonstrators who occupied his apartment building.
"That's the core of our democracy. But the the violence is the problem."
The mayor then accused President Donald Trump of escalating violence in the city by characterizing rioters as "violent anarchists."
"You've tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history and now, you want me to stop the violence that you helped create," Wheeler went on. "What America needs is for you to be stopped so that we can come back together as one America."
Nevertheless, Wheeler implored Trump to partner in a plan for reform.
"That would be a message, 'Donald Trump and Ted Wheeler working together to move this country forward,'" Wheeler said. "Why don't we change that for a change?"
However, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has twice declined to deploy Oregon's National Guard, Wheeler noted in the conference. In a letter to Trump earlier in the week, Wheeler also denied any support from federal law enforcement to police civil unrest in his city.
The Portland City Council additionally banned local police from coordinating with federal agents deployed by the Trump administration.
Wheeler announced that he will be meeting with local, state, and regional law enforcement agencies later in the day to discuss policing strategies.
Trump smacked down on Wheeler via Twitter with a threat to send more federal law enforcement into Portland.
"Ted Wheeler, the wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor of Portland, who has watched great death and destruction of his City during his tenure, thinks this lawless situation should go on forever," Trump wrote.
"Wrong! Portland will never recover with a fool for a Mayor," the president snapped back. "He tried mixing with the Agitators and Anarchists and they mocked him. He would like to blame me and the Federal Government for going in, but he hasn't seen anything yet."
This comes after Multnomah County Chair Kafoury released an official statement on Sunday morning about the shooting.
"Last night, an event that was clearly intended to intimidate, provoke and endanger individuals resulted in a fatality. The loss of life is tragic and unacceptable," Kafoury wrote, asserting that the public is "witnessing the self-perpetuating cycle of violence fueled by white supremacy."
Then the county chairman cited more than 90 consecutive days of Portland protests since the death of George Floyd, "itself a feature of the systemic racism that poisons our country."
Kafoury then claimed that the "overwhelming majority" of protestors have engaged in "non-violent demonstration" to call for police accountability, racial justice, and the "dismantling of racist institutions. However, he acknowledged "instances of interpersonal violence," vandalism, and destruction.
He moved on to allege that the pro-Trump caravan—"stoked by a president who has gone out of his way to demonize this city and encourage vigilantism in service to white supremacy and his own fragile ego"—had "terrorized" downtown Portland, shooting paintballs and pepper spray at "community members" to "create confrontation."
Kafoury failed to mention that Antifa militants responded by throwing objects, including rocks, eggs, and bottles full of mysterious liquid back at the drivers.
It was revealed that the man who shot and killed a Trump-supporting protestor over the weekend, Michael Forest Reinoehl, identifies as Antifa and is an ardent Black Lives Matter supporter. The homicide victim, Aaron "Jay" Danielson, was a participant in the "Trump 2020" car caravan and an associate of the Portland-area conservative group Patriot Prayer.
Livestream video showed Antifa black bloc militants outside the Justice Center celebrating Danielson's death. "He was a f*cking Nazi! Our community held its own, and took out the trash," a woman on a bullhorn as the crowd cheered.
"This tragedy will be used to justify escalating violence. It will be used to paint an entire movement with a broad and misleading brush. And sadly, it will be used by the occupant of the White House to deepen divisions and fear," the county co-chair continued.
At this point, police have not stated whether the murder was connected to the nearby protest, KATU-TV reported.