If anyone doubts that militarized Homeland Security forces under the jurisdiction of Donald Trump won’t refuse to follow orders to injure or even kill their fellow American citizens while the nation is exploding with civil unrest, that wishful thinking was shattered like the skull of Donavan LaBella, a 26-year-old protestor who was shot directly in the head with an impact munition and severely injured by federal law enforcement last night in front of the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
“In a video of the incident sent to OPB, LaBella is seen pushing a canister of smoke or tear gas away from his feet across the street from the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse. Moments later, LaBella returns to holding a speaker over his head with both hands. Shots of impact munitions can be heard, and LaBella collapses to the ground, dropping the speaker,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. “Desiree LaBella, Donavan’s mother, said he suffered facial and skull fractures. He came out of surgery early Sunday morning and was responding to doctors.”
The videos of the shooting and the tear-gassing of protestors are themselves profoundly disturbing.
— Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof) (@hungrybowtie) July 12, 2020
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) told local newspaper Willamette Week that he laid the blame for the violence directly at the ramp-challenged feet of Donald Trump.
“The consequences of Donald Trump unilaterally dispatching federal law enforcement into U.S. cities played out in Portland with a peaceful protester shot in the head,” Wyden told the newspaper.
“Trump and Homeland Security must now answer why federal officers are acting like an occupying army,” he said.
Oregon’s Democratic Governor Kate Brown was equally critical of the president for the unnecessarily violent incident.
“The events of last night at the federal courthouse were the tragic and avoidable result of President Donald Trump, for weeks, continuing to push for force and violence in response to protests,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “The cycle of violence must end. President Trump deploying armed federal officers to Portland only serves to escalate tensions and, as we saw yesterday, will inevitably lead to unnecessary violence and confrontation.”
Trump’s deployment of heavily armed Homeland Security Forces clearly goes against the intent of federal laws prohibiting the use of government troops against U.S. citizens and transparently violates the wishes of local elected officials.
As if any additional evidence was needed to insist upon the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the office of the presidency for the health, safety, and security of the nation’s citizens, this latest incident merely adds to the mountain of offenses that we are all already way too familiar with at this point.
At the risk of sounding as much of a whiny complainer as Trump himself, one can only ask: How much more of this can we take?
Original reporting by Bob Brigham at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.