October 20, 2020

Portland suspect shot dead by police during arrest

Police in Lacey, Washington, have shot dead a man suspected of fatally shooting a right-wing activist during protests in Oregon, officials say.

Michael Reinoehl, 48, was being investigated for the killing of a supporter of President Trump during last weekend’s tension.

Reinoehl earlier said he acted in self-defence when he shot Aaron Danielson, a member of the Patriot Prayer group.

It was not immediately clear why officers shot Reinoehl.

Black Lives Matter protesters have demonstrated nightly in Portland since the killing of black man George Floyd in May but the city has seen clashes with right-wing groups.

Last Saturday Trump supporters held a large rally and fought with anti-racism protesters in violent exchanges.

Reinoehl, who regularly attended the protests, had told Vice News that he had thought he and a friend were going to be stabbed by Danielson.

“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 colour. But I wasn’t going to do that,” he said.

Before police attempted to arrest Reinoehl on Thursday President Trump highlighted the killing of Danielson, tweeting “Why aren’t the Portland police arresting the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast.”.

What happened in Lacey?

A warrant for Reinoehl’s arrest was issued and he was located by agents on Thursday in Lacey, about 120 miles (193 kilometers).

Thurston County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ray Brady said it was not clear why the suspect was in Lacey and he did not believe the suspected lived at the address.

An anonymous official told AP news agency that Reinoehl pulled a gun when officers moved to arrest him and he was shot by police.

Lieutenant Brady said the suspect had left an apartment and got into a vehicle.

“As they attempted to apprehend him, there was gunfire,” he said. He said four officers fired their weapons.

Why have there been clashes in Portland?

Reinoehl was suspected of shooting Danielson during clashes on Saturday night when a large procession of supporters of President Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.

The shooting came amid fights between the Trump supporters and BLM protesters in the city centre.

Media captionOne dead in Portland shooting

Tension rose after a convoy of some 600 vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers proceeded through central Portland.

Video showed some people firing what local media described as pepper spray and pellets at BLM groups who had tried to prevent them entering the city by blocking streets.

The city has become a flashpoint for tension with some violence between between far-right groups, such as Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, and left-wing counter-demonstrators known as antifa, or anti-fascist movement.

“I am 100% ANTIFA all the way!” Reinoehl posted on Instagram in June and he suggested that the counter-protestors’ tactics amounted to “warfare”, according to US media.

In July he was told to appear in court on charges of carrying a loaded gun in public and resisting arrest.

On 26 July he told AP that that he had been shot in his arm after intervening in a fight between an armed white man and a group of young black people.

On Thursday Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Democratic officials condemned the violence that had taken place in Portland, writing “The violence must stop. There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon.

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