The U.S. Marshal Service investigated after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a less fatal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said on Monday With.
The investigation of the shootout is being reviewed by the Inspector General's Office of Justice, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, Billy J. Williams said. He said his office would have no further comment.
"I want to make it very clear so there is no confusion," Portland Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday. "The serious injuries Donavan LaBella suffered from a federal official were unacceptable."
Bystander videos show LaBella, 26, falling unconscious and bleeding heavily from her head after a federal official fired a less deadly round at Mark O. Hatfield's federal court. He was in the air with both arms and was holding a large loudspeaker opposite the courthouse when he was hit.
LaBella's mother, Desiree LaBella, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that her son had facial and skull fractures. He came out of surgery early Sunday morning and responded to doctors.
"He was awake enough to be OK to speak to me," she said. "He had facial reconstruction surgery. You are watching him."
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The incident was largely condemned in Portland, where violent protests took place every night after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis in May. The recent protests have focused almost exclusively on federal property, and particularly on the courthouse.
The Department of Homeland Security has deployed officials from more than half a dozen federal law enforcement agencies and departments to suppress the Portland unrest.
Federal officials used tear gas against demonstrators at the weekend. The Portland Police Bureau is subject to a temporary federal court order that prohibits the use of tear gas unless they declare an uprising – something the local police did several times before federal officials showed up.
President Donald Trump said Monday that "Portland has gone completely out of control" and that federal officials "have suppressed it very much".
"They went in and I think they have a lot of people in prison right now. We very much suppressed it. If it starts again, we will very simply suppress it again. It is not difficult to do if you know what you are doing, "he said at a law enforcement round table.
Both Oregon Senators condemned the shooting on Sunday, as did Jo Ann Hardesty, the first black woman to be elected to the city council. Hardesty also said federal law enforcement agencies have no place to patrol the Portland protests.
"We should send a very strong community message and say," You are in the wrong place. We don't need you. It was bad enough before you got here, and all you do is make it worse, "she said in a phone interview with the AP on Monday.
"There are people who appear to be in military uniform and … they have no ID at all on their uniforms."
Wheeler said he had no problem with federal officials protecting their facilities.
"I have a problem with them leaving the facilities and going out into the streets of this community and then escalating an already tense situation like they did last night," he said. "I would consider telling them to go – and I have no authority to do so."
Chief of Police Chuck Lovell said Monday that the police mainly communicate with federal officials to avoid accidental confusion.
Last week, deputy chief Chris Davis said an "agitator corps" of violent demonstrators was responsible for vandalism and chaos in the city. Davis differentiated between Black Lives Matter protesters, whom he described as non-violent, and a smaller group of people, whom he repeatedly referred to as "agitators".
AP reporter Lisa Baumann contributed from Seattle.