Trump Calls for ‘Retribution,’ Not Justice, in Portland Shooting

·2 min read

President Donald Trump seemed to endorse the extrajudicial killing of suspects while discussing the fatal shooting of the antifascist activist Michael Reinoehl by U.S. Marshals in early September.

During a Saturday interview on Fox, Trump said he supported the Marshals shooting Reinoehl, who was accused of killing far-right activist Aaron “Jay” Danielson in Portland last month.

“The U.S. Marshals went in to get [Reinoehl], and, in a short period of time, they ended up in a gunfight. This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him. And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments seemed to line-up with Attorney General William Barr’s official statement following the killing of Reinoehl, calling the officers’ actions “a significant accomplishment in the ongoing effort to restore law and order.”

Although Trump somewhat qualified his remarks by first saying the officers encounter with Reinoehl “ended up in a gunfight,” the president in any way coming close to endorsing extrajudicial violence by law enforcement is dangerous and irresponsible, especially considering the contradicting reports of what actually went down when the Marshalls arrived in Washington to supposedly make an arrest. According to one witness, the “officers never attempted to apprehend Reinoehl and did not issue any commands prior to shooting at him.”

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