Portland Shooting Tragedy

— Unique insights to what went down, how it happened

The city of Portland, Oregon has experienced 100 days of Black Lives Matter & social justice protests in the aftermath of the internationally-viewed George Floyd police custody killing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, subsequent police killings of unarmed black people throughout the nation and harsh tactics used by police in response to the protests (tear-gassing, rubber bullets and flashbang grenades).

  • Immediately cut $50 million from the Portland Police Bureau Budget.
  • Defund Transit Police, SERT, and the Gun Violence Reduction Team, and fully implement the promised elimination of the School Resource Officer Program.
  • Divest City Portland Cannabis Tax funds from the PPB budget and invest them into reparations for those harmed by the War on Drugs, which disproportionately targeted BIPOC communities for activities that are now legal.
  • Reinvest resources into Black futures through a community-centered health and safety model that is developed in strong partnership with community partners.
  • Pledge that Portland will never again participate in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • Ensure that all personnel at PPB are complying with Sanctuary policies and protecting immigrants & refugees from ICE.
  • Stop all sweeps of camps that shelter houseless people and the expansion of sit-lie regulations, and support a Right to Rest agenda that decriminalizes houselessness.
  • Stop the militarized response to protest. Stop using rubber bullets, teargas and flashbang grenades at protests.
  • End the City’s attempt to remove PPB from the DOJ Settlement and accept external oversight for decades of civil rights violations.
  • Establish open collective bargaining with police unions during the contract renegotiation, including community groups as a party to the negotiations. Limit collective bargaining negotiations to wage and salary related matters.
  • Give community oversight meaningful power in disciplinary actions and the dismissal of officers.
  • Adequately establish and fund citizen oversight, require police contact data to be collected correctly and reported to the Auditor’s office.

Folks, the protests are real and understandable!

The protests are widespread and similar demands to those above are being made in major cities all throughout America. Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his right wing law and order agenda advocates fail to understand any of the community requests. Instead he and they fan the flames for violence, encouraging right wing militias and an angry, often violent response to the protests. Trump has called for use of federal troops in our cities, praised the militias who’ve embraced the fight and he demands harsh and unfair prison sentences for protesters who get arrested.

In essence, Trump has used the nationwide protests as a deflective issue to cloak away his woeful and incompetent response to America’s Covid-19 crisis where nearly 200,000 Americans have died. He knows that Nixon succeeded with a law and order campaign over ant-Vietnam War protests, and he thinks he’s playing winning numbers as he publicly rails against those calling for racial justice. His dog whistles to right wing militia groups and 2nd Amendment enthusiasts are right up their alley… they are responding accordingly.

In America, racism abounds thick in the middle of the 2020 presidential election campaign. Trump thinks with fewer eyes on Covid-19 and more eyes on racism his odds of winning are greater. So he flies his loyal entourage around the country on the taxpayer dime, quickly organizes mask-free/anti-social distancing rallies and claims he’s healing the nation with his call for law and order.

In reality, his goal is only to further divide the nation as this represents his best shot at re-election.

On the surface this seemed fairly well-organized event. If the organizers could have eliminated the presence of right wing militia bully agitators, the egoistical need to carry weapons and had they stuck to their original cruise route plan it would have been an impressive and spectacular event!

Below is rally principal organizer Alex Kyzik’s optimistic pre-cruise announcement:

Sadly, the cruise travel route was falsely presented. There were agreements with law enforcement the Trump Cruise would remain on the major highway and not enter the downtown streets of Portland. Violating this proved fatal and tragic consequences. As of this writing, two lives have been lost.

Below is the Trump Cruise rally and drive into Portland official YouTube video.

The videographer is a co-organizer of the event. It appears in some way she is related to Kyzik. Note at 20:40 in the video she states “we’re going to drive down the streets of Portland.” In fact, the video shows her and her companions actually driving through the downtown streets of Portland. That was the intention all along, but the public was never informed and it’s likely why they kept the route secret.

Not only were innocent people who were part of the cruise — who had no intention of entering the volatile city — jeopardized by naturally following the vehicle in front of them, so also were innocent people walking along the streets of the city who got caught in the conflict between the overly-aggressive Trump promoters and a city that’s been full of night and day protesters.

Organizers of the cruise should be held accountable for causing people to unknowingly enter a hornets nest. What could go wrong, in fact, did go wrong. That evening a member of the right wing Patriot Prayer militia organization, who was part of the cruise and who is observed in the cruise rally video above, at 55:50, was shot and killed during what became inevitable provocations and confrontations.

Below is the original Justin Dunlap video that captured the moment when Danielson was shot and killed on the downtown streets of Portland.

The three screenshot photos for enhanced clarity:

Aaron J. Danielson (shooting victim) and Chandler Papper, both members of right wing militia group Patriot Prayer, pass the speakers stage of the Trump Cruise Rally

No doubt about it. The shooting victim, and his buddy Chandler Pappas, as seen in the photos above, had every intention of entering the downtown streets of Portland with demon intent, to harass and terrorize protesters.

The shooting video shows — before the shouting and before shots were fired — a red car and a black SUV stopped parallel to where Danielson and Pappas were engaged with two people, one being the shooter, now identified as Michael Forest Reinoehl and the other unidentified. A skate border cruises into the fray and there were also several onlookers a short distance from the confrontation. Also, a vehicle was attempting to exit the garage but couldn’t since the red car appeared like it had blocked the exit.

Against this backdrop, there was very loud shouting seemingly involving Danielson and Pappas. Audio analysis (see below) indicates most of the shouting came from Pappas. It seems like he was shouting at occupants in either both or one of the stopped vehicles. He couldn’t have been shouting at Danielson since he was standing directly next to Pappas. They moved to the rear of the red car toward Reinoehl and the other person who seemed to back up a bit.

Suddenly, Danielson drew a can of mace from his side pocket and released it. A strong puff of chemical spray filled the air. Instantly, two shots were fired. Danielson, now struck by a bullet, turned towards the red car and took two or three steps toward it before collapsing to the ground — this, as the red car left the scene. The person with the shooter quickly darted away, while the shooter took several steps backwards observing Danielson’s fate, then turned and ran.

Pappas approached his friend, got down on his knee while dropping his own can of spray (mace?) and tended to his friend. A black sports car rapidly pulled up and a Black female BLM medic got out to help. Another crossed the street to help. Pappas angrily pushed her away as she knelt to help. When the police arrived, Pappas immediately stood up while seeming to adjust something behind his holster (a gun or knife?).

The police pushed the medic away, kicking away her medical supplies — and also Pappas’ mace can. Someone retrieved the medical supplies. It’s not clear what happened to the mace can, which could and should have become evidence.

[Update: Police are now reporting they found a handgun on Danielson and also that his mace can had a hole in it. They are theorizing Reinoehl’s 1st bullet hit Danielson’s mace can, exploding it. But what I see and hear in the video is a puff, then two bullets. Perhaps both Danielson and Pappas simultaneously fired mace from separate cans.

They also show a new photo of Reinoehl from an alcove, staking out Danielson and Pappas as they pass by on a sidewalk. This could indicate there may have been a prior incident that night involving Danielson and Pappas, either with Reinoehl or someone else. Perhaps the unidentified suspect or somebody completely different who Danielson and Pappas might have threatened to kill that night — not a far-fetched supposition, given the bravado Pappas has expressed in various videos. This would also fit a statement made in the Reinoehl Vice video interview]

Pappas is taken aside surrounded by police. He profusely yells at them, then suddenly ran away from the scene. The great question remains: Why’d they let him run off? This obviously creates the ever-nagging questions: Were Pappas a black person, would they have let him run off? Would he have been searched?

Below is an audio analysis of the voice of Pappas: The comparative is when he is first shouting, before shots were fired, “we’ve got ’em right here.” The second is when he yells at the medic and the third is when he confronts the police [NOTE — Danielson was originally identified as Jay Bishop]

Question: Is this voice analysis correct? What do you think?

The right wing version of events has the shooter yelling “we’ve got ‘em.” This does not seem the case. Based on previous video interviews, it does not seem like the voice of the shooter. Plausibly, it seems more the voice and demonstrative behavior of Pappas.

Thus, the question: Who were the occupants of the black SUV, and the red car that split after Danielson fell?

A question I pose is: Could the red car at the scene have been the same reddish car that is depicted behind Danielson’s ear in this photo?

Below are more examples of threatening and aggressive behavior of Pappas:

So many questions to what’s become a terrifying reality.

What makes the reality more terrifying is the fact that Donald Trump, president of the United States, encourages aggression both from his speech and by his actions. I surmise what Trump saw on this terrifying day was not the innocent people who got hurt caught in the crossfire of a divided nation. Nope. He didn’t see that. I think all he saw were Trump flags on pick-up trucks!

Postscript: The Shooter

Who knows what exactly was in the mindset of Michael Forest Reinoehl. Judging from the below Vice interview, it doesn’t appear — as the right wing has alleged — that he set out on that day as part of a ‘hit squad’ intent on killing or harming right wingers. Given the volatile condition of the streets of Portland it’s doubtful a so-called ‘hit man’ would be wearing sandals.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know the full story as Reinoehl was killed by police during the effort to arrest him. What’s also unfortunate is his trial perhaps could have brought forward information that could have helped a much-needed healing of our nation.



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Michael Weddle

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!