(JustPatriots.com)- The estate of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, the man fatally shot and murdered in downtown Portland after a pro-Trump car rally last year, is suing the city, the mayor and the county district attorney, alleging that their negligence contributed to his murder.
The suit, filed in federal court last Friday, argues that the city’s “hands off approach” to political riots in Portland fostered a “culture of vigilante policing” and ultimately led to Danielson’s murder on August 29, 2020. The plaintiff is seeking $13 million in damages.
The Danielson estate is also accusing Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt of playing a role in the murder when he announced last summer that he adopted a new policy in which he wouldn’t pursue what he considered “public order crimes” but instead focus on deliberate property damage, threats of force or actual force against others.
Based on surveillance video of the shooting, the murderer, Michael Reinoehl, a self-described “anti-fascist” who claimed he provided security for Antifa protesters in Portland, appeared to have deliberately targeted Danielson.
Reinoehl emerged from a parking garage before firing two gunshots at Danielson as he was walking in downtown Portland after the rally. The suit says Danielson deployed bear spray at Reinoehl in defense simultaneous to the gunshots.
Danielson, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene about 10 minutes after the shooting was reported. He died from a single bullet to the upper right chest.
The lawsuit alleges that officers from the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team were less than two blocks during the shooting, but were following orders not to get involved in any skirmishes between the dueling factions of demonstrators.
In the week leading up to Danielson’s murder, the suit alleges, heated violence between demonstrators armed with bats, smoke bombs, shields and bear spray went on outside of the Justice Center with no police intervention. The suit argues that the city and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler “fostered an environment in which demonstrators on both sides could reasonably anticipate a skeletal and passive police presence” during the weekend when Danielson lost his life.
Days later, Reinoehl was shot and killed by police outside a Washington apartment complex when officers from a multi-agency federal task force moved in to arrest him for second degree murder and unlawful use of a firearm.