PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for a Department of Justice investigation into the killing of a murder suspect from Portland after President Donald Trump said officers did not want to arrest the suspect.
U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Kathleen Rice of New York, both former prosecutors themselves, released a letter on Friday citing a recent New York Times report reconstructing the moments leading to Michael Reinoehl’s death by federal authorities and Trump’s comments on Thursday praising the way U.S. Marshals handled the incident.
“Extrajudicial killings in the U.S. are illegal,” Lieu and Rice’s letter to the DOJ’s inspector general reads. “Under our Constitution, the federal government cannot deprive a person of his or her life without due process of law, regardless of what crimes they are suspected of committing.”
Reinoehl is suspected of shooting Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of President Donald Trump, near a rally in late August before being gunned down during an arrest attempt near Lacey, Washington, several days later.
Hours before his shooting death on Sept. 3, a Vice News interview with Reinoehl was released, in which the Portland man who had been seen at Black Lives Matter protests said he was providing security for left-wing counter-protesters and was afraid a Black friend of his was about to be shot by Danielson.
“We sent in the U.S. Marshals, took 15 minutes and it was over. Fifteen minutes and it was over. They got him. They knew who he was. They didn’t want to arrest him, and 15 minutes, that ended,” Trump said Thursday at a rally in North Carolina.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that in interviews with 22 witnesses, “all but one said they did not hear officers identify themselves or give any commands before opening fire.”
Among the questions Lieu and Rice are asking for the Department of Justice to be answered are whether the U.S. Marshals were “given any type of order or suggestion that they kill Mr. Reinoehl without trying to arrest him first” and whether agents tried to make any attempts to arrest or subdue him.