Last week I got a call asking me to speak at a rally in Portland to protest the police shooting of Amir Locke, the 22-year-old black man shot on a couch by Minneapolis Police during a no-knock raid. Minneapolis and Portland are similar cities: outwardly progressive, but violently policed. I’d written a story about the Locke case two weeks ago. But I was out of town for the weekend and had to decline.
On Sunday morning, I heard about a mass shooting during a BLM protest in Portland, the same one I’d been invited to attend. The details were sketchy. At least six people had been shot and one person killed. Much of the social media chatter seemed to suggest that the shooting had been committed by one of the protesters. The rightwing media was having a field day. This was a complete distortion of what took place, a distortion abetted by the Portland police. And not for the first time.