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Oregon Normandale Park Protest Shooter Had History of Racist, Misogynist Threats Before Shooting

February 22, 2022

On Saturday at least six people were shot, one fatally, near Normandale Park during a protest of the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke. According to the reporting the shooter approached a group of women protestors calling them “violent terrorists” and spewing other “misogynist vulgarity.” The man also blamed the peaceful protestors for violence in the city and threatened them by saying: “If I see you come past my house, I’ll shoot you.”

According to his roommates in an Oregon Public Broadcast article, the shooter “became more radicalized starting in the later years of the Obama administration and accelerating during the Trump administration” and at times, could be heard “yelling racial slurs in his room and deriding women.” He was also known to have several firearms in his room and was becoming increasingly angry with the protests for racial justice in the last few years. 

Guns have no place in democracy and residents should be able to attend protests on racial justice without the fear of being shot and killed for their beliefs. In the last few years, armed demonstrations are becoming increasingly more visible for protests on racial justice and in places pertaining to democracy. In August, Everytown for Gun Safety, in partnership with the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), released a new report documenting over 610 armed demonstrations that have taken place across the United States since the start of 2020. The report shows that overall, armed demonstrations are more than six times more likely to be violent or destructive

The shooting comes after a rash of shootings in Portland this week including six shootings in a nine hour span. Last year, Portland saw record gun violence and this year hasn’t slowed down. According to Oregon Live, the number of shooting incidents during the first month of 2022 outpaced January 2021. This session, lawmakers should focus on addressing the gun violence crisis in the state by allocating additional funding for violence intervention programs. The funding would support community-based violence intervention programs that apply a localized approach to reducing gun violence in Oregon’s hardest-hit neighborhoods and communities. 

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