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$13M Lawsuit Filed Against Portland, Mayor Wheeler in Murder of Trump Backer

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

USA – -( The City of Portland, Oregon, its Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt are named as defendants in a $13 million federal lawsuit filed by the family of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was fatally shot on a downtown street Aug. 29, 2020, of last year by a self-proclaimed Antifa member during last summer’s unrest.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

The suspect in that murder, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was shot dead by law enforcement officers less than a week later in Lacey, Washington, about 150 miles north of the Rose City. There were conflicting reports about whether he was armed at the time. Earlier this year, the Thurston County, Washington Sheriff’s Department concluded its investigation of the fatal shooting and concluded Reinoehl “initiated” the exchange of gunfire. He was armed with a .380-caliber pistol, which was found in his pocket, but there was a single spent casing found in the vehicle in which he was seated.

According to the Portland Oregonian, Danielson was killed following a pro-Trump rally. The newspaper said “a ‘hands-off approach’ to political demonstrations and counter-protests in Portland fostered a “culture of vigilante policing” between opposing factions that filled the void and led to the killing.”

By remarkable coincidence, a man identified as Justin Dunlap was nearby live streaming the nightly protests and captured the shooting on video. A gunman can clearly be seen from the rear, and two shots are audible, and there is a visible muzzle flash and what appears to be a cloud of spray that another video appears to show Danielson releasing. The suspect immediately races away and Danielson can be seen staggering a few steps before collapsing.

Ironically, Portland is where most of the Beaver State’s gun control extremism originates.

In a narrative found at Wikipedia, Danielson was reportedly holding a can of bear spray and an expandable metal baton. One of the two shots fired allegedly hit the can, releasing the spray. The other bullet struck Danielson in the chest.

Wikipedia also noted that at the time of the shooting, Reinoehl “was wanted for failing to appear in court for a June 2020 speed racing case.” When police arrested him in that incident, they found a loaded pistol in the car for which Reinoehl did not have a license. In July 2020, Reinoehl was shot in the arm during an altercation in Portland, in which he had intervened. One of the people in that altercation was armed, according to the report, and there may have been a scuffle over control of the gun. Earlier, on July 5, 2020 he had been arrested in Portland for “for resisting arrest, interfering with an officer and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place,” according to NPR.

Oregon Public Broadcasting earlier this year posted a collage of videos, taken from different angles, that show both Reinoehl and Danielson walking near an intersection. Reinoehl can be seen crossing the street ahead of the approaching Danielson, and then moving into a parking garage, reaching into a pocket, emerging and coming out behind Danielson. Reinoehl appears to have been watching Danielson pass. Danielson moves into the street.

Reinoehl appears to have circled around to move ahead of Danielson and the deadly confrontation erupts.

Last year in Portland, the Police Bureau logged 55 homicides, according to the Portland Oregonian/Oregon Live. That surpassed Seattle, Washington—another liberal Pacific Northwest city where, like Portland, 2020 saw violent protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd while being restrained by police in Minneapolis, and local officials have taken what many critics see as a soft-on-crime, hard-on-police approach to public safety—where more than 200 officers left the force over the past 16 months and there were 52 murders.

According to KOIN News in Portland, as of Aug. 22, there had been 60 homicides, which puts the Rose City on track for setting a new murder record. It’s a stark contrast from the city’s traditional image as a laid-back bastion of liberalism in Oregon.

The multi-million-dollar lawsuit reportedly alleges Portland police officers “were instructed to avoid involvement in disputes between opposing political groups,” according to Fox News. But last year saw “violent clashes” between groups more than once.

The lawsuit, said the Oregonian, seeks $1.5 million in economic damages, another $1.5 million in “non-economic” damages, and up to $10 million in punitive damages.

On Aug. 22 there was another “clash” between opposing groups during which the city reportedly used a “hands-off approach” which Wheeler subsequently acknowledged was “not the right strategy,” Fox News reported. Nobody was shot, but some participants were reportedly armed with baseball bats and paintball guns. Police reportedly “monitored” the confrontation from an airplane!?

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About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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