Trump presses law and order message as protest turns deadly

A man was shot dead in the US city of Portland, police said Sunday, the latest violence to upend anti-racism protests as President Donald Trump presses an election message characterizing his Democratic opponent Joe Biden as weak on violent crime.

But hours after the gunfire Saturday during a pro-Trump rally in the Oregon city, Biden accused the president of fanning the flames of violence in a polarized and tense nation.

The shooting followed a week of country-wide protests — including the cancellation of numerous sporting events — over the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin of African American Jacob Blake.

The violence in Portland erupted during a rally involving hundreds of vehicles “caravaning throughout downtown Portland,” police said. OregonLive reported “clashes” and “tense moments” between demonstrators and counter-protesters

Photographs from the scene showed the victim wearing a hat with a logo for “Patriot Prayer,” described by local media as a far-right group at the center of multiple Portland demonstrations that have ended in violence.

The Portland clashes followed unrest in Kenosha, where prosecutors accused 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of shooting dead two men and wounding another who were protesting against Blake’s shooting.

Trump is due to travel on Tuesday to the Midwestern city to meet law enforcement officials and view damage from unrest triggered by Blake’s shooting last weekend.

Wisconsin’s governor Tony Evers sent the president a letter asking him to reconsider the visit as it “will only hinder our healing,” according to US media reports. (AFP | Glenn Chapman)

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