Man seen in area of homemade explosive at Portland protest ID'ed as ex-Navy SEAL

Published by OPB.ORG

Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    Shortly after someone threw makeshift explosive devices at protesters in Southeast Portland early Saturday morning, a man wearing dark clothes and carrying a military style helmet with night-vision goggles was videotaped near the area.

    Multiple people say the man in the video appears to be a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and former Central Intelligence Agency contractor who has worked in Afghanistan - and spoken out on social media against the nightly Portland demonstrations.

    In a livestreamed video filmed during protests demanding the police be defunded or abolished, roughly a dozen protesters are seen gathered in Southeast Portland's Laurelhurst Park.

    Keeler posted a video of the interaction online and said he had seen the person in the video in the park after the explosions had gone off.

    Keeler's video shows a man dressed in dark clothing and carrying a ballistic military style helmet with night vision goggles attached to it.

    The man walks away from the person shooting the video and paces between vehicles parked in a residential neighborhood.

    Multiple people told OPB the man in the video resembles Louis Garrick Fernbaugh, a retired Navy SEAL who said in court documents he is a former contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency and that he held a top secret security clearance.

    The confrontation between the man identified as Fernbaugh and Keeler points to a potential danger that has long existed in Portland demonstrations: conflicts between activists on the left and groups or individuals with right-leaning politics who oppose them.

    "Give me a F'ing break, the political violence has been going on for more than two years already," Fernbaugh wrote in a 2018 Facebook post, after explosive devices were sent to CNN and Democratic politicians by a Florida man.

    A spokesperson for Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said the office is aware of the improvised explosive detonation in the video at Laurelhurst Park, but referred questions regarding any investigation to the Portland Police Bureau.