Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan to curb violence in Portland as the state’s largest city was reeling Monday after a fatal weekend shooting following clashes between protesters and supporters of President Donald Trump.

Brown said Sunday that Oregon State Police would return to Portland to help authorities and called for other law enforcement agencies in the state to provide help amid nightly protests since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

A man was fatally shot Saturday shortly after a caravan of vehicles carrying Trump supporters rolled through Portland, drawing heated counterprotests. Joey Gibson, founder of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson and called him a “good friend.”

Portland police confirmed the identification Monday, saying Danielson was 39 and died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Police have not publicly identified the shooter.

“Rest In Peace Jay!” tweeted Trump, who on Monday continued his attacks on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, calling him a “joke of a mayor” after he called him a “fool” Sunday.

“That’s classic Trump,” an angry Wheeler said during a news conference Sunday. “Mr. President, how can you think that a comment like that, if you’re watching this, is in any way helpful? It’s an aggressive stance. It is not collaborative.”

Sunday, police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested 29 people as authorities tried to urge people away from downtown and deescalate tensions.

A Portland police officer looks down at graffiti calling for the abolition of cops after the crowd set fire to the Portland Police Association (PPA) building early in the morning on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The PPA, a headquarters for the Portland police union, has been a regular target during the 93 days of protests in Portland. Nathan Howard, Getty Images




Here’s what we know Monday:

Trump defends Kyle Rittenhouse on eve of visit to Kenosha

President Donald Trump defended the 17-year-old who fatally shot two protestersin Wisconsin last week, embracing claims by Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorney that he acted in self-defense.

Referring to cell phone video of the incident, Trump told reporters on Monday that Rittenhouse was “trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like” and said that protesters “violently attacked him.” Trump repeatedly noted the shooting remained under investigation but also appeared to lean into Rittenhouse’s self-defense argument.

“I guess he was in very big trouble,” Trump said of Rittenhouse. “He would have been, he probably would have been killed. But it’s under – it’s under investigation.”

Trump made the remarks a day before he set to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, the latest flash point in violent protests after the police shooting Aug. 23 of Jacob Blake, a Black father who was left paralyzed from the waist down. Rittenhouse has been charged with five felonies and a misdemeanor after shooting three people Tuesday.

What happened during the Portland shooting?

Police provided few details about the shooting and said it wasn’t clear whether it was politically motivated. Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said no arrests have been made and called for peace.

“The issue with firearms is very troubling to us, but people do have a constitutional right to carry firearms legally,” Lovell said. “So it’s hard to prevent. Some of the instances that take place, you’re talking split second, a couple of seconds. A lot of times, we’re not right there to see things happen.”

The caravan of Trump supporters rolled through Portland on Saturday evening after a rally in nearby Clackamas.

Fights and other skirmishes broke out between the groups. By 8:30 p.m., the caravan had left downtown, and 15 minutes later, the shooting occurred.

What is Patriot Prayer? Right-wing group linked to Portland confrontations

Victim wore Patriot Prayer hat

Videos and photos of the shooting spread on social media, showing the man wearing a Patriot Prayer hat.

“We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived,” Gibson wrote on his Facebook page.

Based in Washington state, Patriot Prayer is a right-wing group “about fighting corruption, big government, and tyranny using God for strength and the power of love,” Gibson wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which advocates for civil rights, said Patriot Prayer members often engage in violence against their political opponents.

Our concern now is that (far-right groups in Portland) will use this tragic death as an excuse to act with even more impunity against anti-fascists, leftists, Black Lives Matter activists and journalists,” said Cassie Miller, senior research analyst for the SPLC.

Patriot Prayer has rallied Trump supporters for demonstrations in Portland since 2017. Saturday, the group organized a “rally for freedom” for the Tip Top Tavern in Vancouver, Washington, protesting “intimidation and harassment by the state” amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Gibson arrived in Portland on Saturday night after the shooting and was briefly corralled in a nearby gas station by angry protesters.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer says teen charged with murder is a ‘hero’

Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer Monday cast his client as “a hero who had no choice but to defend himself.”

Attorney John Pierce, in an interview with USA TODAY, called the case against the teen  “the most political prosecution in the history of this country.” Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois, and a self-described militia member, faces murder charges in connection with the shooting.

Pierce, who is leading the alleged shooter’s defense, said a national fundraising effort has already netted “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in donations to a defense fund.

“The kid is being wrongfully charged with murder because mayors and governors have abdicated their own responsibilities to maintain law and order,” he said.

Pierce said his client went to Kenosha after a local business owner there called for help in protecting properties, including a car lot and body shop, that the owner believed was threatened by the unrest in Kenosha. The attorney said he did not know who fielded the initial request, but he said Rittenhouse and other associates responded to the call.

“He did not go there looking for a fight,” Pierce said.

Oregon Gov. Brown: Right-wing groups came ‘looking for a fight’

Brown unveiled a “unified law enforcement plan” Sunday night aimed at ending “violence and arson” in Portland while protecting “free speech.”

The plan calls on law enforcement agencies from around the state to aid authorities in Portland. State police would be deployed to free investigators with the Portland Police Bureau to make arrests.

Brown’s plan called on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute arson and other violent offenses. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will provide resources, Brown said.

“We all must come together – elected officials, community leaders, all of us – to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other and working together.”

Brown said, “The right-wing group Patriot Prayer and self-proclaimed militia members drove into downtown Portland last night, armed and looking for a fight. Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.

“Time and again, from Charlottesville to Kenosha to Portland, we have seen the tragic outcome when armed right-wing vigilantes take matters into their own hands. Gun violence is never, ever the answer.”

Portland protests continue for nearly 100 consecutive nights

Protests continued Sunday night, though the crowds were smaller. Many wore helmets, gas masks and other gear, police said in a statement, and some threw rocks, eggs and other items at officers.

Video shared on social media showed police knocking protesters to the ground during arrests, most of which were for disorderly conduct or interfering with an officer.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Portland for nearly 100 nights to demand changes to law enforcement and an end to systemic racism and injustice.

The unrest began in the wake of the death of Floyd, a Black man, after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day.

Massive protests erupted around the country in the days that followed. The unrest in Portland has ebbed and flowed, but the city drew national attention in July after Trump sent in federal agents.

The move led to a rise in tensions as agents made arrests in unmarked vehicles and used tear gas and other violent tactics. Protesters have lit fireworks, started fires and vandalized buildings throughout the demonstrations. More than 600 people have been arrested since late May.

Trump, Portland mayor spar over city

Trump repeated his attacks on Wheeler and Democratic leaders in other cities who he said “have lost control.”

“Portland is a mess, and it has been for many years. If this joke of a mayor doesn’t clean it up, we will go in and do it for them!” Trump tweeted Monday.

Trump also attacked his campaign challenger, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and called for “law and order.”

After Trump called Wheeler a “fool” Sunday, the mayor asked Trump to “work together” with him. “Why don’t we try that for a change?” Wheeler asked during a news conference.

“I certainly reached out, I believe in a collaborative manner, by saying earlier that you need to do your part and I need to do my part and then we both need to be held accountable,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler pleaded with those who might come to Portland seeking retribution for the shooting to stay away. “This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother’s basement.”

Kenosha: Trump plans visit; 200-plus arrested since protests began

Tuesday, Trump plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin – between Milwaukee and Chicago – to survey the city after following a violent week of protests in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a white Kenosha police officer and is paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting prompted calls for justice and unrest, and Last week during a protest, an self-described militia member armed man fatally shot two people and wounded another. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, a self-described militia member, faces murder charges in connection with the shooting.

Trump plans to meet with law enforcement during the trip. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday there are no plans for Trump to meet with Blake’s family, which spoke with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden last week.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to Trump on Sunday urging him to “reconsider” the visit. He said the past week has been “particularly difficult” and communities across the state are dealing with “extraordinary grief.”

Kenosha police said Monday they have arrested more than 200 people tied to the unrest after in the city following the shooting of Blake. Of those, more than half were from outside Kenosha, hailing from 44 different cities. Most of the arrests were for curfew violations; others included charges included ranged from carrying concealed weapons, burglary and possession of controlled substances. More than 20 firearms were seized.




Contributing: John Bacon, Jordan Culver, Kevin Johnson and Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY; Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press