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Portland protests: Trump and Biden clash over street violence

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US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden have clashed over the violence that has erupted at protests in Portland, Oregon.

Mr Trump blamed the Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, for allowing the "death and destruction of his city".

But Mr Biden said the president was "recklessly encouraging violence".

A man was shot dead in Portland on Saturday as elsewhere in the city a pro-Trump rally clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.

Portland has become a flashpoint for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May triggered a wave of national and international outrage.

Mayor Wheeler warned against people coming to the city to seek revenge amid a flurry of 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 hit back at Mr Trump's criticism, saying it was the US president who had "created the hate and the division".

"I'd appreciate it if the president would support us or stay the hell out of the way," he said. Some activists have called for the mayor's resignation, saying he was not capable of resolving the protests.

'This is Trump's America'

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Mr Trump said that "Portland will never recover with a fool for a mayor", and suggested sending federal forces to the city.

He also accused Mr Biden of being "unwilling to lead".

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

..The people of Portland, like all other cities & parts of our great Country, want Law & Order. The Radical Left Democrat Mayors, like the dummy running Portland, or the guy right now in his basement unwilling to lead or even speak out against crime, will never be able to do it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2020

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

In a statement, Mr Biden 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 a major theme of President Trump's bid for re-election, painting the Democrats and their candidate Joe Biden as soft on crime.

Earlier, acting US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Democrats officials in Portland had allowed "lawlessness and chaos" to develop, saying "all options" were on the table to resolve the situation.

Democrats have responded by saying the violence is happening under Mr Trump's presidency, and accuse the US leader of worsening the situation with his rhetoric.

Victim 'supported far-right group'

Police are investigating the shooting in the city, which has seen months of demonstrations.

"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 reported that "camouflage gear" with "thin blue line patches" was seen next to the body – a common sign of support for the police.

Another image shows police trying to restrain a man who was apparently with the person who was shot.

Police have not identified the dead man or specified whether the shooting was directly linked to the clashes which broke out Read More – Source

bbc

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