President Donald Trump basically gave a green light to police officers and right-wing militias to carry out extrajudicial killings of Americans during an interview on Fox News Saturday night.
After a protester allegedly killed a Trump supporter named Aaron Danielson in Portland earlier this month, Trump immediately took to Twitter and demanded action. But law enforcement ended up killing Michael Forest Reinoehl without first announcing themselves and giving him the chance to surrender peacefully. Reinoehl was also unarmed according to a credible witness at the scene despite claims by police otherwise.
In short, it appears this was an extrajudicial killing in retaliation against a protester for allegedly killing a right-wing extremist.
But rather than condemn such a killing, Trump told Jeanine Pirro that he approves.
“I put out, ‘When are you going to go get him?’ And the U.S. Marshals went in to get him,” Trump said. “This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him. And I’ll tell you something—that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.”
Trump on a purported antifa sympathizer who allegedly killed someone in Portland being killed by federal forces: “This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. And I’ll tell you something — that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.” pic.twitter.com/WfIP9b37sA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 13, 2020
But that’s not how our justice system works. Police are supposed to arrest suspects and then those suspects stand trial because they are innocent until proven guilty. What these officers did is disgraceful. And the fact that Trump is okay with executing Americans in retribution for whatever alleged crime they may or may not have committed is beyond terrifying.
Twitter users condemned his remarks and pointed out the hypocrisy.
Extrajudicial killings are something many Republican U.S. Senators oppose if they happen outside of the United States. But they won’t say anything about this. Every single member of the Senate who talks about the rule of law needs to speak up, or forever hold their peace. https://t.co/0XCloTwftP
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) September 13, 2020
Michael Forest Reinoehl killed one and claimed self-defense. He was executed by U.S. Marshals. Trump called his killing “retribution.”
Kyle Rittenhouse killed two and claimed self-defense, fled the state, skipped his court date and was given a court reprieve. Trump defends him. https://t.co/DgRLJcFLpb
— Bobby Boucher Esq.🌹 (@BobTheComrade) September 13, 2020
e.g. when neo-Nazi Christopher Hasson was arrested for plotting to murder Democrats & journalists, Trump was given the opportunity to denounce him but simply said:
“I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens.”
No talk of retribution then!
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 13, 2020
Trump is a fascist who believes in extrajudicial summary execution of American citizens. Full stop.
“This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. And I’ll tell you something — that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.”pic.twitter.com/HKWY4bsjP6
— Greg Sarafan, Esq 🌲👽🌲🌈 (@GSarafan) September 13, 2020
“There has to be retribution”. Trump gives a green light to every gun-toting far-right militia goon in the USA. Danger. https://t.co/ukc9ndGYMR
— Mike Scott (@MickPuck) September 13, 2020
Americans should be outraged by what Trump is trying to turn our justice system into. Because once extrajudicial killings start, the bloodshed will inevitably come to all of our doorsteps.
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