Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Oregon, My Oregon

To steal one of Stacy McCain's favorite titles, Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes. WaPoo: Federal officers severely wounded a Portland protester. Local leaders blame Trump.
The protester, armed only with a speaker, stood across the street from a line of officers clad in body armor in downtown Portland, Ore., on Saturday night. When they threw a canister his way, video shows, the protester calmly rolled it away. Seconds later, shots rang out, and he crumbled to the ground with blood gushing from his head.

The man, 26-year-old Donavan La Bella, suffered a fractured skull and required facial reconstruction surgery after he was apparently hit in the head by a less-than-lethal munition, his mother told the Oregonian. The man is in serious condition at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

The round was reportedly fired by federal agents, who have been dispatched to Portland as part of President Trump’s crackdown on destructive protests, a fact that has become a flashpoint for local officials already bristling over the feds being sent without their consent. On Sunday, many blamed Trump’s policies for the bloodshed.

“The consequences of Donald Trump unilaterally dispatching fed’l law enforcement into U.S. cities played out in Portland w/a peaceful protester shot in the head,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted. “Trump & Homeland Security must now answer why fed’l officers are acting like an occupying army.”
. . .
The U.S. Marshals Service said on Sunday that it is investigating the incident, which happened while officers were “securing the perimeter of the federal courthouse,” according to a statement sent to The Washington Post. The Department of Homeland Security, which also has agents at Portland’s protests, did not respond to a request for comment late Sunday.
. . .
On Saturday night, officers from the Marshals Service lined up outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, which has become a nexus for protesters. La Bella was standing in a park across the street when the officers began firing, his friends told Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“He’s been completely nonviolent the entire time he’s been down there,” Elton Rosas said of La Bella. “He helps de-escalate situations. Out of all people, he’s one of the nicest kids you will ever meet.”

Video shows La Bella’s head jerking backward as he’s hit. Other protesters rushed to his aid, and another graphic video shows blood pooling off his forehead as they carry his limp body away. Desiree La Bella, his mother, told the Oregonian on Sunday that he required surgery.
If you're part of a gang attacking a federal building, even if you're not the one holding the bat or the Molotov cocktail, expect violent resistance from federal agencies. Of course, we only have his friends word for it that he was behaving non-violently. In fact the video shows him holding something big over his head as if to hit someone, and then tossing the tear gas grenade back at the officers.

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