The estate of a man fatally shot in downtown Portland during a pro-Trump vehicle rally last year is suing the city, the mayor, and the county district attorney, claiming their negligence resulted to his death.
A “hands-off approach” to political demonstrations and counter-protests in the city, according to the complaint, has fostered a “culture of vigilante policing” between opposing factions that has filled the void and resulted in Aaron “Jay” Danielson’s death on Aug. 29, 2020.
City Attorney Robert Taylor declined comment on the suit.
The Danielson family also accused Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt of participating in the abuse by announcing last summer that he had established a new policy and would no longer pursue public order charges such as criminal mischief, interfering with an officer, or a stand-alone riot charge, but would instead focus on deliberate property damage and threats of force or actual
After the 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white officer in Minneapolis, protesters expressed outrage over police brutality against people of color in cities across the United States. In Portland, protests were almost nightly and resulted in claims that authorities were too aggressive with crowd control.
According to video of the shooting released by police, anti-fascist protester Kyle Danielson appears to have been targeted by Michael Reinoehl, a self-described antifa who said he provided security for racial justice demonstrations in Portland. According to a police affidavit, Reinoehl, 48, emerged from an alcove near a downtown parking garage
Danielson used bear spray on Reinoehl in response to the gunshots, according to the complaint.
Danielson, 39, was shot in the upper right chest with a single bullet and subsequently died.
Danielson was with his friend Chandler Pappas, both of whom were wearing Patriot Prayer caps, indicating their backing for the far-right organization based in Vancouver.
Reinoehl was shot and killed outside an apartment complex in Washington shortly after a multi-agency federal task force stormed the scene to try to apprehend him on a Multnomah County felony warrant alleging second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to the lawsuit, police from the Rapid Response Team, a specialized crowd control unit within the Police Bureau, were less than a two-block radius away at the time of the incident but were following orders not to interfere that day between opposing protestors.