The estate of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, who was murdered by Antifa militant Michael Reinoehl following a pro-Trump rally, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Portland, the mayor and the county district attorney for negligence.
The suit was filed in federal court on Friday and argues that Danielson would still be alive if the city did not have a “hands-off approach” to political demonstrations and counter-protests. The estate is seeking $13 million in damages — $1.5 million in economic damages, $1.5 million in non-economic damages and up to $10 million in punitive damages.
Danielson, 39, was shot and killed on Aug. 29, 2020 after seemingly being stalked by Reinoehl.
“We are seeking justice for the preventable death of a young man, gunned down in a city with a dangerous and deadly hands-off approach to public safety. Time and time again, City leadership and law enforcement have failed to find an effective response to clashing groups of protesters,” Christopher L. Cauble, the estate’s attorney, said in a statement.
Oregon Live reports, “The Danielson estate also accused Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt of playing a role by broadcasting last summer that he had adopted a new policy and generally wouldn’t pursue what he considered public order crimes such as criminal mischief, interfering with an officer or a stand-alone riot charge, and instead would focus on deliberate property damage and threats of force or actual force against others.”
The suit alleges that the Rapid Response Team, which is responsible for crowd control, were less than two blocks from the shooting — but were told not to interfere with the dueling protests.
“Given the enormity of the press coverage over the past several years regarding clashes between left- and right-leaning protest groups in the downtown core of Portland, Defendants knew or should have known that violent clashes would occur,” Cauble wrote in the suit.
Reinoehl was shot and killed by police when multiple law enforcement agencies went to apprehend him for second-degree murder and unlawful use of a firearm.