Trump retweets video of Portland protester’s legs on fire set to ‘Footloose’ as he frantically runs in panic
Trump had retweeted the video, which was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, and wrote: "These are the Democrats ‘peaceful protests.' Sick!"
President Donald Trump, on Sunday, September 6, shared a video of a Portland protester accidentally being set on fire set to the song 'Footloose'. The Republican then called the scene "sick." Trump had retweeted the video, which was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, and wrote: "These are the Democrats ‘peaceful protests.' Sick!"
These are the Democrats “peaceful protests”. Sick! https://t.co/8NpRepi8UY— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020
The clip shared by Trump shows a protester with his lower pant legs in flames as he frantically runs away from another small fire in the street near a police line in Portland on Saturday, September 6. Police in the footage can be heard declaring the protest a riot as the man runs in panic. Cops begin to deploy tear gas as nearby protesters rush to extinguish the fire on the man's body. Later police in riot gear also approach the suffering protester, however, their offer of assistance by then is rebuffed.
Reports state that at the time the video was recorded, police had blocked hundreds of protesters from gathering on the Southeast Portland precinct as part of their demonstration against systemic racism in the country and police brutality, according to The Oregon. Protesters had reportedly begun their march on Saturday at 9 pm and multiple officers arrived at the venue to block the protesters' path. Police reportedly announced over a loudspeaker that they would not allow protesters near the precinct "for the safety of city employees, community members, and nearby residents.”
The scene was soon declared a riot by officers when three Molotov cocktail-like devices were thrown. State troopers then moved to disperse the crowd forcefully, the outlet reported. Saturday was reportedly the first use of tear gas this month in the region, where protesters have been demonstrating for over 100 days ever since George Floyd's death. Police, in a statement on Sunday, said that multiple firebombs were thrown at officers after the blockade was erected there. "A sergeant was directly struck by a commercial grade firework, which burned through his glove and injured his hand," the statement said. "Several officers and troopers were struck by rocks in the head, arms, shoulders, and feet. Only their protective gear prevented serious injury.”
At least 59 protesters were arrested by authorities at the protest. Police, in a Sunday morning press release, said that at least two of those arrested were wearing body armor and that two were armed, one with a dagger, and another with a knife. Nearly all of them were reportedly charged with low-level misdemeanors and crimes that Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt previously committed to dismissing.
Police often label Portland protests “unlawful assemblies” or “riots,” but the laws governing those declarations have been heavily scrutinized as being arbitrarily applied. Saturday’s declaration came almost immediately after a march to the precinct was set to begin.
A group of leaders, state lawmakers, businesses, unions, and community organizations from Portland and Oregon as a whole on Friday, September 5, had urged to end the violence which has been witnessed in the region in the past few weeks. The group, in a statement, said: "We are coming together to condemn the acts of violence in Portland that have occurred as thousands of Oregonians have been peacefully protesting. The violence must stop. There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon. All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable."