On Friday, a federal lawsuit was filed against the City of Portland, as well as its mayor and district attorney, for failing to prevent the murder of an innocent Trump supporter named Aaron “Jay” Danielson during last year’s race riots, Breitbart reports.
The lawsuit, filed by Danielson’s family, points to the city’s “hands-off approach” to left-wing protests as being a contributing factor to Danielson’s “preventable” death, as the frequent orders for police to stand down led to a “culture of vigilante policing” throughout the city.
The incident took place in August of 2020, as race riots by the far-left domestic terrorist organizations Black Lives Matter and Antifa were still raging across the country, with Portland being one of the hotspots for frequent violence against civilians and businesses. Danielson, a member of the conservative group Patriot Prayer, was walking through the streets of Portland after a political rally earlier that day, wearing pro-Trump clothing. His killer, Antifa member Michael Forest Reinoehl, was filmed on several CCTV cameras throughout the area, actively stalking Danielson and eventually hiding in the alcove of a parking garage as he waited for Danielson to walk by; he then emerged from the garage and fired two shots at Danielson from behind, with one shot proving fatal.
Reinoehl subsequently went into hiding as a fugitive wanted for murder. While on the run, he gave an interview to Vice in which he defended his actions, claiming with no evidence that Danielson was about to “kill a black friend” of his, while adding that he hoped his actions would start a second civil war. Reinoehl was eventually tracked down by federal forces in Lacey, Washington, where he opened fire on the officers and was subsequently killed in a firefight.
Christopher Cauble, an attorney for Danielson’s family, said that the family is “seeking justice for the preventable death of a young man, gunned down in a city with a dangerous and deadly hands-off approach to public safety. Time and time again, city leadership and law enforcement have failed to find an effective response to clashing groups of protesters.”
The suit names both Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Ore.) and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt as defendants. The lawsuit says that Schmidt had ordered his office to not pursue “public order crimes such as criminal mischief, interfering with an officer, or a stand-alone riot charge, and instead would focus on deliberate property damage and threats of force or actual force against others.”
Danielson’s family is seeking $13 million in damages; the damages account for $1.5 million in economic damage, $1.5 million in non-economic damages, and $10 million in punitive damages.