Biden signals unilateralism and other commentary
Portland and Seattle residents slam ‘weak’ response to Antifa riots
Twitter suspends ‘Antifa’ accounts with more than 71K followers
Biden won’t stop them, and neither will cops, until Portland is burned down
During the 2020 riots sparked by the police-custody death of George Floyd, journalist ANDY NGO embedded with Antifa groups on the West Coast and witnessed first-hand how left-wing protestors can spread their own brand of violence. In an excerpt from his new book, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy” (Center Street), out Tuesday, he details the murder of a Trump supporter at the hands of an Antifa radical, who was instantly hailed as a hero for his crime, and later a martyr . . .
In 2020, my hometown of Portland, Ore., was in the national and international news for all the wrong reasons. Dozens of cities saw Black Lives Matter and Antifa-inspired protests or riots break out in response to George Floyd’s death on May 25, but Portland stood out above the others because its violence lasted for months.
On Aug. 29, 2020, that violence culminated in murder when a 48-year-old volunteer security “officer” for BLM-Antifa killed a Trump supporter in the city’s downtown.
Michael Forest Reinoehl shot Aaron “Jay” Danielson, 39, using a pistol at near point-blank range after lying in wait for him around a street corner. The shooting was caught on camera from a distance by a live streamer. A person believed to be Reinoehl shouted: “We’ve got a couple right here!” (Danielson was walking with a friend.) Two shots rang out, and Danielson fell face‐first to the ground. He was shot in the chest and died instantly.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of vehicles had gathered in Clackamas County, near Portland, for a grassroots-organized “Trump 2020 Cruise Rally.” It was a mass vehicle caravan rally celebrating all that Antifa hate: President Trump, law enforcement and America. The day was peaceful as drivers made their way out of a mall’s parking lot and onto a route that took them in and around the Portland area. But trouble was waiting when they drove downtown.
Drivers waving US, Trump and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags were met by crowds of masked Antifa rioters armed with projectile weapons. The drivers and their passengers came loaded with their own tools and weapons. Antifa hurled eggs and rocks at the caravan. They also sprayed cars and passengers with urine from water guns. Some of them tried to stop the vehicles by standing in the road and pushing against the cars. In response, members of the caravan used pepper spray and shot people with paintballs. No one sustained real injuries, and the conflict fizzled out.
By around 8:30 p.m., the caravan vehicles were gone. But some of its participants walked around. Aaron Danielson strolled through downtown with his friend Chandler Pappas. Both had been passengers in the caravan earlier in the day and are affiliated with Patriot Prayer, the Portland-area pro-Trump group. Danielson was a single man who ran a moving company. His Oregon criminal record includes convictions for driving-related misdemeanors in the 2000s.
According to the criminal complaint against Reinoehl, at approximately 8:44 p.m., he was walking ahead of Danielson and Pappas. He looked back at them and reached toward his waistband. Portland Police Detective Rico Beniga wrote this about Reinoehl and his companion (named as Subject #2) in an affidavit:
REINOEHL turns into the garage entry and reaches toward his left front waist area. REINOEHL conceals himself, waits, and watches as Danielson and Pappas continue walking by. Danielson and Pappas do not appear to interact or communicate with anyone and continue southbound on SW 3rd Avenue . . . After Danielson and Pappas walk by, REINOEHL begins to emerge from garage while still reaching toward the pocket or pouch on his waistband. Subject #2 looks back toward REINOEHL. Danielson and Pappas cross westbound across SW 3rd Avenue and REINOEHL and Subject #2 follow them. The shooting occurs shortly thereafter and is not captured on the surveillance video.
When news spread on social media that someone had been shot, Antifa accounts and Antifa-sympathetic journalists erroneously spread the claim that a “black comrade” had been killed by a Trump supporter.
“The far-right have been building up to this for the last three weeks. The [Portland Police Bureau] encouraged this escalation,” tweeted Rose City Antifa. Another Antifa group, Popular Mobilization, tweeted: “As we process our trauma over this tragic turn of events, let’s remember the importance of standing together as a community in opposition to fascist violence.”
Within a few hours, it was revealed that the homicide victim was a conservative who vocally supported law enforcement and the president. Photos of Danielson’s body on the ground showed he had a “thin blue line” patch on his clothing, a symbol of support for police, and a hat bearing the insignia of the Patriot Prayer group. As soon as that news spread among Antifa, the somber mood in the crowd, which by now had gathered outside the Justice Center, became celebratory.
“I just got word the person who died was a Patriot Prayer person — he was a f–king Nazi!” yelled a woman on a bullhorn. People shouted “Yeah!” in response. She continued: “Our community held its own, and took out the trash. I am not going to shed any tears over a Nazi.”
Even though none of the Antifa knew the identity of the deceased at that time, it didn’t matter. They only needed to know that he was a Trump supporter. They celebrated his death through dancing, song and the burning of American flags.
Later, at a memorial service for Danielson organized by local conservative activists in Vancouver, Wash., Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson urged the crowd not to seek vengeance.
“I know that Jay would not want that,” Gibson said. “Jay wants us to stand up for what we believe in, and he does not want any more violence, guys. He does not want any more violence.”
Our community held its own, and took out the trash
Antifa protester after Aaron Danielson was shot and killed
In the immediate hours after Danielson’s murder, Internet sleuths went to work analyzing the blurry stills showing Reinoehl, who was unknown at the time, running from the scene in the livestream video. Based on his distinctive clothing, they found other clips from earlier in the evening showing him walking around downtown, at times pumping his fist in support of BLM, and frequently having his hand ready on a concealed gun. What positively identified him to Internet sleuths as well as law enforcement was a large tattoo of a black power fist on his neck.
Once I found out Reinoehl’s name, I immediately searched online for his social media accounts. Though most Antifa are quick to hide their online presence, Reinoehl still had an active Instagram account where he had posted throughout the summer riots. Within seconds of skimming his posts, it confirmed what I suspected all along. Not only was he obsessively in support of BLM, he identified himself as “100 percent antifa” and wrote long posts about the need for violent revolution.
His other posts on Instagram reflected the same themes of viewing the current riots as part of an armed struggle for revolution. In one post, the divorced father of two claimed to have served in the US Army but an Army spokesperson said they had no record of Reinoehl. A friend of his later told The Wall Street Journal that Reinoehl worked random odd contracting jobs in recent years. He was a former professional snowboarder whose criminal history in Oregon includes driving-related offenses.
Though he was never known to dress in black bloc, the unofficial uniform for Antifa, he certainly espoused their ideology. While calling for the abolishment of police, Reinoehl was auditioning for a role in the armed “self‐defense” community, which BLM Antifa managed to install in place of the police in Portland in June last year. Reinoehl got the job.
Spending time in the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or CHAZ, in Seattle, I had already seen up-close what happens when city officials make law enforcement retreat from the public. Anarchists and other extremists move in and establish their own rules. And they aren’t shy about using violence. In fact, they revel in it. As in CHAZ, those who fashion themselves as “security” for racial justice are often the most violent, cruel and brutal.
The last few months of Reinoehl’s life before his shooting show he was a violent man with no regard for the well-being of others. Over and over, authorities failed to prosecute or jail him, even when they had several opportunities to do so. This is the travesty in the killing of Aaron Danielson. It could have been prevented.
Nearly two months before Danielson’s murder, Portland Police actually had Reinoehl in custody — but he was let go. On July 5, 2020, during the start of violent riots targeting the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, Reinoehl was detained and cited for possessing an illegal and loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police. He was photographed fighting cops while they subdued him to the ground. In the photo released by Portland Police, his pistol is seen on the ground next to him. A source tells me that police released Reinoehl because he claimed to be injured. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office then dropped all of his charges for unknown reasons.
But that wasn’t the only missed opportunity to stop Reinoehl. On June 8, 2020, he and his teenage son were racing in separate vehicles in eastern Oregon. Reinoehl was stopped by a state trooper, who saw his 11-year-old daughter as the passenger. According to state police, they found prescription drugs, marijuana and an illegally possessed loaded Glock pistol in the vehicle. Reinoehl had a warrant for that arrest due to his failure to appear in court. But he was never apprehended.
One day prior to Danielson’s Aug. 29 murder, Reinoehl attended a BLM-Antifa riot outside Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s condo. He was photographed with his young child, who was brandishing a baseball bat.
Immediately after the killing, Reinoehl went on the run. Five days later, he emerged in a Vice News interview with sympathetic left-wing freelance writer Donovan Farley. In the interview from an undisclosed location, Reinoehl admitted to the killing, saying: “I had no choice. I mean, I, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.” He said that Danielson threatened him with a knife even though no evidence supports the claim. In fact, the video surveillance seconds before the shooting showed Reinoehl waiting for Danielson and following him.
Reinoehl also admitted to being a fugitive, saying he was not turning himself in because he thinks police are collaborating with right wingers.
Five days after Danielson was killed, I received word from law-enforcement sources that US Marshals had killed Reinoehl in Washington state. A federal task force made up of local officers located him in an apartment near Lacey, Wash., about 120 miles from Portland. A statement from former Attorney General William Barr the following day said that Reinoehl attempted to escape arrest and “produced a firearm” before being shot dead. However, a New York Times report the following month said that all but one of the 22 witnesses interviewed by investigators recalled not hearing officers identify themselves or give commands before the shooting. The sheriff’s team conducting the homicide investigation did find a .380-caliber pistol in Reinoehl’s pocket, as well as a semi-automatic rifle in his car. The investigation remains ongoing.
Like the Antifa killers who came before him, Reinoehl was instantly made into a martyr by Antifa in Portland. The night he was killed on Sept. 3, 2020, rioters attacked a police building in southeast Portland. On the ground outside, they graffitied over and over: “You murdered Michael Reinoehl.”
The morning after, while driving around Portland, I saw a large graffiti message on the side of a police building that read, “Long live Mike.”
Antifa even turned one of the bridge pillars in north Portland into a “memorial” for Reinoehl featuring spray-painted eulogies. His death also prompted calls for vengeance by Antifa in other parts of the country. In December, Antifa hung a banner over Storrow Drive in Boston that read, “Avenge Michael Reinoehl.”
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article