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Portland denies protest permit for the Proud Boys, citing coronavirus risk

The City of Portland has denied a protest permit requested by the Proud Boys, saying their demonstration slated for Saturday would likely draw a crowd too large to comply with social distancing measures required under coronavirus restrictions.

While COVID-19 risk was cited as the reason for rejecting the permit, officials in the Oregon city — which has been plagued by left-wing protests that have often descended into violence for months — say the group isn’t welcome regardless of the virus.

What are the details?

ABC News reported that Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the city’s parks department which issues the permits, said in a statement explaining the Proud Boys’ denial, “We must all do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and keep ourselves and each other safe. Events like this are not welcome and are not allowed.”

The Proud Boys state on their website that “all that is required to become a Proud Boy is that a man declare he is ‘a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world,'” and lists a set of core values including “anti-racism,” “anti-racial guilt,” and “anti-political correctness.”

According to The Daily Mail, the group’s permit application described their rally as a march to “end domestic terrorism.”

The outlet noted that the Proud Boys “have rallied in Portland several times in recent years and draw large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared on Twitter, “On 9/26, alt-right groups and white nationalists are intent on coming into our community. These groups empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome. Hate has no home in Portland.”

But rally-goers and counter-protesters are still expected to show up.

Fox News reported that “Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Portland on Friday as authorities anticipate violent clashes between opposing groups over the weekend during” the Proud Boys’ planned demonstration. The governor also named another group, Patriot Prayer, as a threat to the city.

The outlet noted:

In August, a Patriot Prayer supporter was shot and killed in downtown Portland during a confrontation. Michael Forest Reinoehl said he shot Aaron Danielson in self-defense. He was killed by law enforcement officers as they attempted to arrest him in Olympia, Wash.

Portland has grappled with more than 100 consecutive days of protests that have included fights, arson, vandalism, assault and murder.

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Black gun owner in New Jersey was arrested for carrying a licensed gun and possessing legal ammunition

A black man in New Jersey is fighting charges after being arrested for carrying a firearm and possessing polymer-tipped ammunition — both of which he says he is authorized to do under state law.

New Jersey police arrested Roosevelt Twyne, a 25-year old black American who works as a security guard, in February after officers performed a traffic stop on him due to his vehicle’s tinted windows, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Twyne’s attorney, Evan Nappen, told the news outlet that his client was then charged for illegally carrying a firearm and being in possession of ammunition that officers erroneously referred to as “hollow-point.”

But, according to Nappen, Twyne has a permit for carrying a firearm and the ammunition in his possession was state-approved. Even more, it was the same as the ammunition issued by his employer.

“He had a permit to carry a handgun,” Nappen said, adding that the law “makes it clear that it’s illegal to transport unless you are licensed pursuant to chapter 58. And that is precisely what a handgun carry permit is.”

As for the polymer-tipped Hornady “Critical Duty” ammunition in question, Nappen directed attention to a New Jersey State Police website that says that the ammunition is “not considered to be hollow point ammunition” and is not illegal to possess in the state.

“It’s lawful,” Nappen told the outlet. “It’s publicly announced as lawful because it is. It’s not hollow. It’s filled.”

Nappen added that while the three white police officers who made the arrest did not make any racist remarks during the incident, the issue of race is the “elephant in the room.”

“They didn’t make racist comments,” he said. “They didn’t say anything racist but, on its face, it’s dubious. Let’s just say it’s dubious.”

Twyne said that the arrest has been “traumatic” for him and has unduly damaged his reputation.

“Honestly, it’s been traumatic and has impacted my life in a way that I’ve never experienced before,” he said in a statement. “It’s hard because now even looking for a part time job or any job, it’s made it so much harder for me. Not only has it tainted my name and reputation, which I have worked hard to attain, not just growing up in Elizabeth, but as a black man trying to make a difference.”

New Jersey gun laws are some of the strictest in the nation and include open carry restrictions, bans on large capacity magazines, and red flag laws. In 2016, an actor alleged that he was charged in New Jersey for using a prop gun while filming a movie.

The Free Beacon said that Twyne’s arrest was representative of the challenges of navigating the state’s many complex gun restrictions.

Twyne’s court date is set for April 2.