Did Trump order an extra-judicial killing?

Did Trump order an extra-judicial killing?

During the debate, Trump blurted out that he sent a federal taskforce to deal with anti-fascist activist, Michael Forest Reinoehl. Reinoehl was suspected of killing a right-wing activist during a pro-Trump rally that took place in Portland, Oregon. Did Trump order an extra-judicial killing?

“I sent in the U.S. Marshals to get the killer of a young man in the middle of the street, and they shot him. For three days, Portland didn’t do anything. I sent in the U.S. Marshals, they took care of business.”

Donald Trump

They took care of business.

That business involved shooting Reinoehl first and asking questions later, according to a credible witness:

“Officers shot multiple rapid-fire rounds at Reinoehl before issuing a brief ‘stop’ command, quickly followed by more rapid-fire shooting by additional officers,” 

Nathaniel Dingess

Police have claimed that Reinoehl had a handgun, but really, that too is a moot point considering Trump’s comments. This is because Trump is more or less saying he sent some guys to kill the suspect. Trump sent some men to take care of business and, apparently, this is the ‘law and order’ that Trump believes that Americans want.


Normally, when someone is suspected of a crime, law enforcement attempts to peacefully apprehend a suspect. That suspect has CONSTITUTIONAL rights. Normally, there is an expectation that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. American Presidents are not allowed the prerogative to simply send out a death squad.

The debate was not the first time that Trump had referenced Reinoehl’s death. In an interview with Fox News personality, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Trump claimed that Reinoehl was a violent criminal whose alleged crime required ‘retribution’.

“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.”

Donald Trump

Again, the facts of Reinoehl’s death are somewhat disputed, but that doesn’t matter. Trump has repeatedly used the example of Reinoehl’s death to show what he is capable of, and what his values are. Trump obviously believes that it is okay for him to order American citizens to be shot in the streets, and without due process.

That is not law and order. It is tyranny.

Hear Trump talk about retribution.

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