Antifa militants attacked police in Portland, Oregon, after news broke of a deadly police shooting — forcing the department to quickly announce that it was a “white male” to prevent riots, according to police and reports.
At least 50 protesters, most dressed all in black and carrying anti-fascist signs, gathered at a Motel 6 late Thursday where police shot a suicidal man who charged at them with a screwdriver, The Oregonian said.
The mob “began yelling, throwing items at officers, and attempting to interfere with the investigation,” Portland Police Bureau said in a release, with videos showing many chanting the anti-police phrase “F–k 12.”
“One officer’s baton was grabbed and she was being pulled toward the crowd” and “someone from the crowd pepper-sprayed an officer,” the force said.
“At least one police vehicle’s tires were punctured and a window was broken,” the department said, sharing details of the damage.
In the middle of the mayhem, cops tried to dispel “erroneous information being circulated on social media,” with local journalist Andy Ngo saying that “Antifa falsely claimed the deceased was a black or brown person” in flyers.
“We can confirm that the subject involved is an adult white male,” the department stressed.
The officer who fired the fatal shot was black, and was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice, The Oregonian said.
Police have yet to identify the dead man, who police said was shot by officers responding to a welfare check.
Sources and witnesses told The Oregonian that he was suicidal and had charged at officers with a screwdriver after they attempted to get him to accept mental health help at a hospital. Ambulance crews were on the scene because of the initial suicide fears, the paper said.
“Our officer encountered a very difficult and dynamic situation that no officer wants to face,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said at the scene.
“I want to assure the community that we’re committed to a full, thorough and complete investigation,” he said.