A 26-year-old man suffered facial and skull fractures after a federal law enforcement officer shot him in the head with a “less than lethal” projectile during a police accountability protest Saturday.
Donavan LaBella had been holding a speaker above his head from across the street. Prior to being shot, one of the feds fired a tear gas canister that landed near his feet. LeBella picked it up and tossed it into the middle of the street, nowhere close to the feds.
However, that is what apparently gave the U.S. Marshal the opportunity to claim he feared for his life. A video shows LaBella falling after being shot. Another video shows blood on the sidewalk after he had been carried away by other protesters. Both those videos are above.
The incident took place less than three weeks after a federal judge issued a restraining order against the Portland Police Department, forbidding them from using tear gas, except in instances where “lives or safety of the public or the police are at risk,” according to KATU 2. The order remains in effect until July 24.
Federal agents, who had been dispatched to Portland by an executive order from President Donald Trump, were under no such restrictions. The executive order, issued June 26, cited the need to protect statues from protesters.
The first duty of government is to ensure domestic tranquility and defend the life, property, and rights of its citizens. Over the last 5 weeks, there has been a sustained assault on the life and property of civilians, law enforcement officers, government property, and revered American monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial. Many of the rioters, arsonists, and left-wing extremists who have carried out and supported these acts have explicitly identified themselves with ideologies — such as Marxism — that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.
Anarchists and left-wing extremists have sought to advance a fringe ideology that paints the United States of America as fundamentally unjust and have sought to impose that ideology on Americans through violence and mob intimidation. They have led riots in the streets, burned police vehicles, killed and assaulted government officers as well as business owners defending their property, and even seized an area within one city where law and order gave way to anarchy. During the unrest, innocent citizens also have been harmed and killed.
Now some local politicians are blaming Trump for the escalation in violence among the federal agents, according to the Washington Post.
“The consequences of Donald Trump unilaterally dispatching fed’l law enforcement into U.S. cities played out in Portland w/a peaceful protester shot in the head,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted. “Trump & Homeland Security must now answer why fed’l officers are acting like an occupying army.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) demanded federal agents in Portland start following local rules, which prohibit police from firing tear gas or less-than-lethal rounds unless lives are in danger.
“I’m concerned that the actions of federal officers escalated, rather than de-escalated, already heightened tensions in our city,” Wheeler said in a Sunday statement.
The U.S. Marshals Service said on Sunday that it is investigating the incident, which happened while officers were “securing the perimeter of the federal courthouse,” according to a statement sent to The Washington Post. The Department of Homeland Security, which also has agents at Portland’s protests, did not respond to a request for comment late Sunday.
LaBella, meanwhile, remains hospitalized, having gone through facial reconstructive surgery, according to his mother.
“He still has a tube in his skull to drain the blood,” Desiree La Bella, Donavan’s mother, told The Oregonian/OregonLive.