Police State/Civil Liberties

Police Say an Antifa Activist Likely Shot at Officers. His Gun Suggests Otherwise.

Mike Baker and New York Times

Investigators said that Michael Reinoehl probably opened fire before officers killed him last year. But some key evidence raises questions about that conclusion.

SEATTLE — When a U.S. Marshals task force killed a self-described antifa activist in Washington State in September, the Trump administration applauded the removal of a “violent agitator” who was suspected of murder. Last week, local investigators concluded a monthslong homicide inquiry with the announcement that the activist, Michael Reinoehl, had most likely fired at authorities first, effectively justifying the shooting.

But a review of investigation documents obtained by The New York Times suggests that investigators for the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office discounted key pieces of contradicting evidence that indicate Mr. Reinoehl may never have fired or pointed a gun.

While investigators found a spent bullet casing in the back seat of Mr. Reinoehl’s car, and pointed to that as evidence he probably fired his weapon, the handgun they recovered from Mr. Reinoehl had a full magazine, according to multiple photos compiled by Thurston County authorities showing Mr. Reinoehl’s handgun. The gun was found in his pocket.

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