In an interview scheduled to air tonight on Vice News Tonight, Michael Reinoehl broke his silence to local independent journalist Donovan Farley about the shooting of Aaron Danielson a.k.a. Jay Bishop that took place Saturday night. Reinoehl admits shooting Danielson, not surprisingly claims self defense, but shockingly appears to base his claim on reasons other than the ones we had for saying that the video footage of the shooting supports a self defense argument.
We analyzed the video of the incident a few days ago (https://copblaster.com/blast/25938/patriot-prayer-member-jay-bishop-shot-by-michael-reinoehl) and concluded that Danielson appears to have attacked Reinoehl with mace or pepper spray before the first shot was fired. You can see the footage in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXzDXDBpUVc where one of the above images was taken. In that image you can see a cloud that is also visible in the video after Danielson raised his right arm towards Reinoehl. That is the only plausible reason we could see anyone making a self defense claim in this case.
In the video below you can see a preview of the Vice News interview in which Reinoehl claims that he acted to prevent Danielson from "killing a friend of mine of color." That makes no sense to us based on the video footage because we do not see Danielson make any aggressive moves towards anyone except for Reinoehl. Reinoehl adds that "lots of lawyers suggest that I should not be saying anything" and there is a reason for that. Judging by the preview of the interview he just torpedoed his best self defense theory by saying that he acted in defense of someone else and that other person is not someone seen on camera as being close enough to Danielson for Danielson to have posed an imminent danger. Assuming that Danielson was about to stab a person of color, which we doubt, that would not justify shooting him just for thinking that he might try to stab someone. It would justify pulling a gun and demanding that he stay away from the would be victim, but at the distance that he was from anyone except for Reinoehl it would not justify shooting him. That is why lawyers told him not to say anything because the best way to mount a successful self defense claim is to wait until the government turns over all of their evidence and then structuring your story to fit that evidence.
Reinoehl still might have a valid self defense claim after this however, but it is not nearly as good as it would have been otherwise. That claim would be that he was pulling the gun out to deter Danielson from coming any closer to his friend, but that Danielson attacked him with mace, so he opened fire in self defense. The problem with that position is that it puts the government in a great position to say that Danielson was the one defending himself with the mace from a guy with a gun.
We are curious what evidence if any exists to support Reinoehl's claim that Danielson posed a threat to anyone except him. If that evidence is the same type of evidence people are using to justify Joseph Rosenbaum chasing Kyle Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse opened fire in self defense, then Reinoehl has a serious problem. People have been arguing that because Rittenhouse had a gun and was using it to deter people from going on private property that Rosenbaum had the right to disarm him. They say that Rittenhouse intentionally provoked Rosenbaum just by being there and that provocation effectively torpedoes Rittenhouse's self defense claims. Those same people also point out that the gun was illegally possessed and Rittenhouse had crossed state lines, but those facts are not relevant because they were not known to Rosenbaum when he chased Rittenhouse. The only things relevant in that case are that Rittenhouse was under attack by a bigger dude, tried his best to run away, and only opened fire once his attacker had closed within a couple feet of him. Reinoehl cannot claim that his friend tried to flee, that Danielson was chasing him, or that he had gotten so close that the only two choices were shooting him or letting him attack his friend.
We hope that Reinoehl does not make the ludacris claim that because the alt-right has a violent reputation, the pro-Trump caravan had attacked people earlier, and Danielson knew his presence would be viewed as a threat that he was justified. That would suggest that people of certain political ideologies could legally be considered so threatening that their enemies would be justified shooting them on sight in self defense. Even if he were a uniformed neo-Nazi with a Nazi flag attached to a spear marching down the street saying "death to black lives," that would not justify shooting the guy just to make sure he never got too close to any black people. That is called a preemptive strike and it is not self defense to shoot someone with with the stated intention of countering an anticipated enemy offensive (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemptive_strike_(disambiguation)). It is like bombing Iraq because you thought Saddam Hussein might attack you with weapons of mass destruction.
UPDATE: After catching the whole story on Vice News Tonight it looks like he proved why many lawyer were right when they told him not to say anything. He does not identify which person in the video was his friend. It looked like a guy on a skateboard that may have been a person of color was skating towards Danielson, but if that guy was in danger why was he skating towards Danielson?