At a rally today in North Carolina, Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Marshals' killing of Michael Reinoehl. Reinoehl, the only suspect in the earlier death of a right-wing protestor during unrest in Portland, was shot dead in mysterious, bodycams-off circumstances outside his home by the marshals
The officers involved claimed that Reinoehl took aim at them first, but earlier this week the New York Times reported that they did not announce themselves before opening fire on him. Yesterday, they admitted the gun was in Reinoehl's pocket, not his hands. Today, Trump made clear that he approved unequivocally of the street execuction.
"We sent in the US Marshals, it took 15 minutes and it was over. They got him," Trump told his cheering audience. "They knew who he was, they didn't want to arrest him and 15 minutes that ended."
Trump famously boasted in 2016 that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue without it hurting his support.
Reinoehl was entitled to be arrested, charged, and to defend himself at a criminal trial by jury. Instead, he was put to death—and Trump is heralding it in perverse imitation of Barack Obama's assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Trump may soon be gone. But the police who did this will still be with us, standing back and standing by.