West

One person shot during anti-Trump protest in Portland

Strategy Room: Jeff Lederer and Frank McCarthy discuss the protests across the country against President Elect Donald Trump and if they will continue

 

A man suffered non-life-threatening injuries in Portland, Ore. early Saturday when he was shot while taking part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump.

The shooting took place at around 1 a.m. local time as protesters were walking across the Morrison Bridge toward downtown Portland.

Cameron Whitten told the Oregonian newspaper that a car with multiple occupants was crossing the bridge in the opposite direction of the protesters. He said several people got out of the car, drove a short distance, stopped, then got out again. At that point, Whitten said, one of the people fired a shot into the air, then shot one of the protesters in the leg.

Another witness told KPTV the car's driver said "If you don't get off the bridge, I'm going to kill you," then fired five shots.

A third witness described the shooting's aftermath to a KPTV reporter.

Police cleared the bridge of protesters and sought out witnesses for interviews. Organizers told those who were still marching to go home. 

In a statement, authorities described the suspect as a black man in his late teens, standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a thin build and wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. 

Earlier in the night, police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades to try to disperse the crowd after hundreds of people marched through the city, disrupting traffic and spray-painting graffiti. Authorities said "burning projectiles" were thrown at police and vandalism and assault had taken place during the rally, which organizers had billed as peaceful earlier in the day.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told KOIN that Friday night's demonstrators were "much more aggressive and confrontational with police" than the previous evening. 

The protests appear to have attracted a sizable contingent of anarchists with the goal of vandalizing and destroying property.

More anti-Trump demonstrations are planned through the weekend in the city, and Simpson told KOIN that "perhaps another day would be better."

“The city is fatigued and whatever message you’re trying to convey will be lost," he said, adding that there were "groups out to hijack a (peaceful) protest into mayhem."

Protests against the election result are planned in a number of cities Saturday, including New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Law enforcement officials have described the demonstrations as largely peaceful, but the gatherings have been overshadowed by sporadic episodes of vandalism, violence and street-blocking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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