“We sent the US marshals, it took fifteen minutes, it was over. A quarter of an hour had passed. We got him. They knew who he was. They didn't want to arrest him and it ended in fifteen minutes. "
That was President Trump at a rally in North Carolina yesterday Description of the shooting of suspects Michael Reinoehl.
Trump: We sent the US marshals in, it took 15 minutes and it was over … They knew who he was, they didn't want to arrest him and 15 minutes ended pic.twitter.com/fJA5BsJVeF
– Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 15, 2020
Lawyers on Twitter were shocked when Trump apparently admitted an extrajudicial execution of the Antifa supporter wanted in the shooting of right-wing Patriot Prayer activist Aaron Danielson during a protest in Portland, Oregon on August 29.
Although, as The Intercept points out, it's entirely possible that the "they" who "knew who he was" and "didn't want to arrest him" are local Portland law enforcement officers who had taken too long with the legal subtleties Compiling an indictment based on actual evidence of the President's tastes.
On the other hand, Trump told Fox & # 39; Jeanine Pirro on September 12th that Reinoehl was shot in "retribution", which is why he has been treating this as an execution for a month.
Two and a half days passed and I said, "When are you going to get him?" And the U.S. marshals went in to get in, and in a short time they ended up in an exchange of fire. This guy was a violent criminal and the US marshals killed him. And I'll tell you something – that's how it has to be. There must be retaliation for committing such a crime.
Unfortunately, the current president is not a reliable narrator. He might very well be trying to honor a gangland-style shoot, but that doesn't mean it actually happened. In all honesty – and how can we speak after four years of this nonsense – the President is talking a lot of shit.
In fact, Reinoehl was shot dead by local officials represented by the US Marshal Service. There were conflicting reports of the murder, but several witnesses told the New York Times that the agents made no real attempt to arrest the suspect. They fired 37 rounds with four cannons without reporting as a police officer, hardly missed any people nearby and killed Reinoehl in seconds.
While there were initial reports that Reinoehl was threatening officers, it later emerged that his gun was in his pocket when he was shot. Officials claimed he would reach for it, but they were unable to record the encounter with their body cameras so we will likely never know.
Of course, Attorney General Barr, who has consistently maintained that the presence of a gun on the scene justifies any kind of police violence, has blessed this as clean shooting.
And maybe it is. But if so, it didn't go down as the President said it would. Because either the police went there for "retaliation" or legitimately arrested a suspect. And the president can tweet insanely "LAW AND ORDER" ten times a week, but extrajudicial executions of death squads are anything but.
Trump Boasting Federal Task Force Killing of Anti-Fascist for Portland Murder (Intercept)
"Straight to Gunshots": How a US task force killed an anti-fascist (NYT)
Elizabeth Dye (@ 5DollarFeminist) lives in Baltimore, where she writes about law and politics.