The Portland Police Bureau tried to fend off an angry mob of rioters on Thursday by disclosing that a man shot in an officer confrontation was white.
“There is erroneous information being circulated on social media regarding in the officer involved shooting in the Lloyd district. We can confirm that the subject involved is an adult white male. No one else was injured,” Portland Police tweeted on Thursday night.
There is erroneous information being circulated on social media regarding in the officer involved shooting in the Lloyd district. We can confirm that the subject involved is an adult white male. No one else was injured.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 25, 2021
Chief of Police Chuck Lovell said that “preliminary information suggests officer encountered a very difficult and dynamic situation that no officer wants to face,” but that did not stop a crowd of protestors from forming at the scene shortly after the man who was shot was taken to the hospital.
My statement from the scene of the officer involved shooting in the Lloyd District. pic.twitter.com/Qg0Cxfbl0i
— Chief Chuck Lovell (@ChiefCLovell) June 25, 2021
As the night went on, reports suggest that the crowd went from protesting to rioting.
“Police said people in the crowd threw objects and that someone grabbed an officer’s baton. Another officer intervened and was sprayed with a chemical,” a local news outlet reported.
The unrest sparked a response from the city’s police department which has struggled to manage riots over the last year and recently experienced a mass exodus of officers over a fellow officer’s indictment and “dangerous” mob situations.
Crowd is growing bit by bit. More people shouting at officers. pic.twitter.com/72N5VjoHf5
— Lincoln Graves (@LincolnGraves) June 25, 2021
An Oregon newspaper used the same attention-shifting tactic in April when it included the race of a white man who was fatally shot by police in its coverage. The Oregonian later clarified that they included the man’s race because it was important “in light of social unrest prompted by police shootings of Black people.”
“Recent shootings include Daunte Wright, who was killed by police in a Minneapolis suburb earlier this week, and two killings in Clark County in recent months,” the publication explained, nodding to the fact that those fatal shootings sparked rioting, looting, and other destruction.