A 26-year-old man remains in serious condition after federal officers shot him in the head with an impact munition weapon during a nonviolent demonstration in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night, KGW News has reported.
Multiple videos captured the harrowing moment when the crowd control weapon fractured the young man’s skull and left him bleeding from the head.
One video, posted to Twitter, captured the moments leading up to the incident.
The young man, later identified as Donavan LaBella, stood across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland, where law officials stood guard.
LaBella held a speaker above his head as a canister was tossed toward him. After he threw the canister back toward the courthouse, a loud noise rang out and LaBella fell to the ground suddenly.
— Simulation Warlord🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) July 12, 2020
Another video, published on YouTube by KGW News, offered a closer angle of the actions of panicked bystanders that surrounded and helped LaBella following the incident.
As they pulled LaBella away from the scene, a significant puddle of blood remained on the sidewalk.
An additional video captured LaBella’s head injuries from a very close angle. A warning that the following images are graphic.
Again, these were not Portland police officers, but federal officials.
The incident occurred just a couple of weeks after the Associated Press confirmed President Donald Trump’s June 26 order to deploy heavily armed Department of Homeland Security officials to protect monuments and federal property in Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
On Friday, the day before the incident, Trump even congratulated Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf for the restoration of order in Portland:
“It was out of control, the locals couldn’t handle it, and you people are handling it very nicely.”
Following the incident, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the federal government to investigate the actions of the federal officers:
“A person was seriously injured in Portland last night. This should not have happened. I spoke with U.S. Attorney Bill Williams about the injuries and learned that the U.S. Marshals Service will be conducting a full investigation.”
“I am calling on the federal government to be thorough and transparent with their findings. I’m concerned that the actions of federal officers last night escalated, rather than de-escalated, already heightened tensions in our city…”
Wheeler went on to ask the federal officials to adhere to Portland law enforcement’s citywide commitment to de-escalation.
“…That is why I put into place restrictions on the Portland Police Bureau, limiting the use of CS gas and LRAD to only life safety situations. Portland Police Chief Lovell knows my direction and expectation of the bureau: to end the nightly violence as quickly and safely as possible.”
“I am calling on the federal government to adhere to the same directives as our Portland Police Bureau when it comes to crowd control munitions.”
As for the internet’s response, the videos of the incident provoked outrage.
“how are people even able to remotely justify this sh**?” — AiamPE
“Imagine attacking your own citizens” — AspiringToBeSomethin
“They are aiming for the head. I’ve seen it dozens of times. This is attempted murder.” — Lone_Starrk
Hopefully this peaceful protester sues the city of Portland, Portland Police, the Mayor, all federal LE agencies, and all identifiable officers who not only violently infringed upon his constitutional right to protest, but left him bleeding in the street without aid afterwards.
— Amie the Great (@a_standal) July 12, 2020
Unfortunately, that behavior sounds exactly like what Trump wants.
— Chris Bence (@CSBence) July 12, 2020
Trump’s secret police
— JLK1974 (@Johnkielsbcglo1) July 12, 2020
Despite incidents like these, Department of Homeland Security officers remain deployed around the United States, tactical weaponry in tow.
We can only hope – albeit without much confidence – that no similar incidents occur in the future. We hope Mr. LaBella undergoes a full and speedy recovery.