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Portland mayor: Federal marshals to investigate shooting at protest

(Adding U.S. attorney's statement)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a non-lethal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said.

In a statement late Sunday, Wheeler said that he spoke with U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams of the investigation.

“I am calling on the federal government to be thorough and transparent with their findings,” the Democratic mayor said.

He said he was concerned that the federal officers’ actions exacerbated an already tense environment in Portland.

Bystander videos show the protester collapsing to the ground unconscious and bleeding profusely from the head after a federal officer outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse fired a non-lethal round at him. The protester was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when he was hit.

He was identified by Oregon Public Broadcasting as Donavan LaBella, 26. His mother, Desiree LaBella, told the station that he suffered facial and skull fractures. He came out of surgery early Sunday morning and was responding to doctors.

“He was awake enough to give the OK to talk to me,” she said. “He’s had some facial reconstruction surgery. They’re just watching him right now.”

The incident was widely condemned in Portland, which has seen violent protests every night following the death in May of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Recent protests have focused almost entirely on federal property, and particularly the courthouse.

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams released the following statement Monday regarding the U.S. Marshals Service use of less-lethal munitions during weekend protests:

“Per U.S. Marshals Service protocols, their internal investigation of this weekend’s incident has now been referred to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. We must respectfully decline further comment on this matter.”

The Department of Homeland Security has deployed officers from more than a half-dozen federal law enforcement agencies and departments to quell the unrest in Portland.

Federal officers used tear gas over the weekend against protesters. The Portland Police Bureau is under a temporary federal court order that bans them from using tear gas unless they declare a riot.

Both of Oregon’s U.S. senators condemned the shooting on Sunday, as did Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the first Black woman elected to the City Council.

“This reckless and aggressive behavior has now put someone in the hospital,” Hardesty said. “This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened.”

Last week, Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said an “agitator corps” of violent protesters were responsible for vandalism and chaos in the city. Davis made a distinction between Black Lives Matter protesters, whom he said were nonviolent, and a smaller group of people he repeatedly called “agitators.”

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The Associated Press



  1. If you don’t think the Fed’s are going to take the security of their property/personnel more seriously than Wheeler, you’re going to learn the hard way. If you think Wheeler allowing rioting means the Feds will as well, you’re going to see things like this happen. Portland mayor allowing the continued rioting, looting, and destruction of public property to continue for weeks, is the one to point the finger at.

    Having said that, I don’t agree with aiming for the head! Then again, the officer may not have been aiming for the head . . . we don’t know the details . . . the victim could have been ducking when the officer fired. There will be an investigation and IF the officer intentionally fired at the victims head, he should be fired and charged accordingly.

      1. That type of projectile is NOT to be aimed above the shoulders or below the waist . . . regardless of laser or anything else. The point of the investigation will be if the agent aimed at the head intentionally or not or whether he intended to hit him in the head or not. I have a very warm feeling that he did not intentionally aim or intend to hit the protester in the head.

        1. Hard to aim with lasers in your face. And other angles provided by Andy Ngo and others show rioters throwing mortar balls in to the building and at the cops. All this outrage with a rioter getting shot with a rubber bulLet but silence when it comes to BLM and Antifa killing innocent people.

  2. This is what Mayor Wheeler is having investigated? Not the loss of businesses & property that all these peaceful protesters (Rioters) have destroyed. This is what a liberal mayor in a Democrat run city & State will do. This is just a small window into how the nation will be. People are actually voting for this, if Portland and the state are fine with how this is going, vote Wheeler and Kate Brown in for another term. Does it make any of you Libs sit back and think, this really isn’t going all that great?

  3. Let me get this straight, “Protester” can barricade people into a building and attempt to burn the building down around them without repercussions yet one of those lowlife losers get’s hurt and the world stops for them?

  4. Another violent protest from violent and non-compliant radicals.
    Sorry, I don’t feel a bit sorry he took a shot to the cranium. I’ll save my sympathy for the two officers in Texas who were murdered over the weekend.

  5. “This reckless and aggressive behavior has now put someone in the hospital,” Hardesty said. I have to agree with Hardesty on her statement except she should be referring to the protester’s.

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