A University of Rhode Island history professor, writing about the alleged killing of a Trump supporter by Antifa supporter Michael Reinoehl, wrote, “Reinoehl killed a fascist. I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective.”
Reinoehl allegedly gunned down Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a member of a group called “Patriot Prayer” that showed up to counter-protest at a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Reinoehl was later killed in a confrontation with U.S. Marshals who were trying to arrest him for second-degree murder.
Portland’s District Attorney released a charging affidavit, which, according to Fox News, noted that Reinoehl “appeared to be targeting the victim prior to the shooting,” that he had deliberately armed himself for the protest in case of an interaction that turned violent, and that he “allegedly hid in a parking garage, waiting for Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, and another Patriot Prayer member.”
The Rhode Island University professor, Erik Loomis, initiated the conversation wherein he made the incendiary comment with a blog post in which he wrote:
Michael Reinoehl is the guy who killed the fascist in Portland last week. He admitted it and said he was scared the cops would kill him Well, now the cops have killed him. I am extremely anti-conspiracy theory. But it’s not a conspiracy theory at this point in time to wonder if the cops simply murdered him. The police is shot through with fascists from stem to stern. They were openly working with the fascists in Portland, as they were in Kenosha which led to dead protestors.
Loomis continued by referencing a tweet by historian Manisha Sinha, whom he described as “hardly a conspiracy theorist herself.” Sinha had tweeted that Reinoehl “deserved to be arrested and tried in court, not killed by a motley of federal law enforcement. This seems like a hit job, an extra judicial killing ordered by Trumpsters.”
Whether you disagree with Michael Reinoehl's tactics, he deserved to be arrested and tried in court, not killed by a motley of federal law enforcement. This seems like a hit job, an extra judicial killing ordered by Trumpsters. When you get rid of the rule of law, you get fascism https://t.co/hAqstbGCxx
— Manisha Sinha (@ProfMSinha) September 4, 2020
In the comments below Loomis’ blog, one commenter protested to Loomis, “’Erik, he shot and killed a guy.” Loomis replied, “Reinoehl killed a fascist. I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective.”
Another reader asked, “What’s so great about assassinating a rando fascist? And in the absence of a sound affirmative justification, it should be easy to envision the drawbacks.”
Loomis answered, “What’s so great about assassinating random slaveholders, said liberals to John Brown.”
The Daily Mail reported that Loomis had made prior comments indicating his hostility to Republicans, including: “Once Republicans figured out COVID was going to affect people of color and the poor disproportionately, they stopped caring about doing anything about it.” In May 2018, he titled a blog post, “Republicans: The party of ethnic cleansing in multiple nations,” ranting, “Republicans aren’t just happy with ethnic cleansing in the United States. The Israeli apartheid state is right up their alley too.”
The Daily Mail added that in 2016, Loomis “argued that people should not think of Fidel Castro ‘in terms of simplistic moral judgments.’ Loomis claimed the Cuban strongman ‘an inspiration for billions of people around the world seeking freedom from colonial overlords’ and was ‘a tremendously complex person who attempted to rebuild a society around ideas of justice.’ In August 2015, Loomis called Israel ‘the 21st century version of the white colonialist settler state,’ and said Israel ‘continues committing horrifying violence against the indigenous people in its way.’”