As Jazz pointed out earlier, Michael Reinoehl was shot and killed by police when they went to arrest him yesterday for the murder of Aaron “Jay” Danielson in downtown Portland. Jazz linked to the video interview Reinoehl gave to Vice News just before he was killed. I wanted to highlight some more of what he said.
Reinoehl openly admitted to being the shooter though he claimed he acted in self-defense, specifically saying that he had to shoot to prevent his friend from being killed. As for why he wanted to go on camera and admit this, he said, “I feel it’s important that the world gets at least a little bit of what’s really going on because there’s been a lot of propaganda out there.”
Reinoehl said he wasn’t aware of the planned Trump-supporter cruise around Portland that evening until he saw some of the trucks with flags while he was out with his son. He got a call later suggesting he might want to head downtown to provide security.
“I used to really love this country and I respected the flag,” Reinoehl said but “beacause of all this” he now feels threatened when he sees a big truck with a flag. “I immediately feel that they’re out to get me,” he said. “It felt like the beginning of a war,” he added.
As for the shooting itself, he said he was confident he hadn’t hit “anyone innocent” implying once again that Danielson was not incident even though video seems to show Danielson had pepper spray in his hand. After the shooting Reinoehl fled the scene.
“They’re trying to make it look like we’re all terrorists and they’re trying to make me look like a murderer,” he said, as if that were an absurd description of someone who shot a man dead in the street. “They want to paint a picture of Antifa having major involvement,” he said. Then clarifying his own previous self-description as “100% ANTIFA.” “I am 100% anti-fascist. I’m not a member of Antifa,” he said.
What does this mean? It means Antifa doesn’t keep membership lists or collect dues because their whole objective is to carry out illegal acts without consequences. But it’s clear from Reinoehl’s own social media that he was involved with Antifa’s nightly protests/riots for weeks.
As for the future, Reinoehl said, “Honestly, I hate to say it but I see a civil war right around the corner…That shot felt like the beginning of a war.” He’s wrong about that. His shot didn’t start a war but it did end two lives, that of Aaron Danielson and his own. As for any lasting impact his death will have, I’m sure it will be hard on his children but even his estranged sister April doesn’t sound surprised by his death:
‘I wouldn’t say at this point that this counts as bad news. It’s just more news,’ Reinoehl’s sister said…
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he reacted badly to a situation just like he reacted badly to the situation at the riots,’ April said.
‘He always acted impulsively letting the worst emotions guide his actions, and then he’d try to rationalize afterwards.
‘So I’m not surprised he got himself killed. I’m surprised a police officer did it.’
April said someone had contacted her about a “contract” out on her brother and she expected he would die that way rather than by a police shooting. She predicted some would treat her brother as a martyr. She seems to have been correct about that.
Antifa black bloc outside the Kelly Penumbra police building in SE Portland wrote this everywhere on the street: “[Portland Police Bureau] murdered Michael Reinoehl.”
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 4, 2020
Leftists are mourning Michael Reinoehl like he’s a hero. Absolutely disgusting. pic.twitter.com/qz5FV6KyBM
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) September 4, 2020
The statement from AG Barr was starkly at odds with all of that: “The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed, and the actions that led to his location are an unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs.”
Here’s the interview as presented by Vice. I’ve skipped over the material at the beginning introducing the topic:
Update: I’m amazed by this “fact-check” by reporter Andrew Blake.
AG Barr today called Michael Forest Reinoehl “a self-described Antifa member.”
In an interview released yesterday, Reinoehl said: “I am not a member of Antifa.” https://t.co/JTpOYa5TaX
— Andrew Blake (@apblake) September 4, 2020
That’s an absurd take but I wonder how many reporters will parrot this. I can’t improve on this response.
If you’re focusing on the word “member” instead of the shooter’s extensive affiliation with the group and the ideology they represent, you’re kind of giving the game away.
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) September 5, 2020