Portland man, released under “progressive” district attorney policies, stabs two people to death

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PORTLAND, OR – A man arrested in a reportedly “violent antifa protest” in Portland in June was released when charges against him were dismissed.

A week later, he “allegedly stabbed two people to death.”

Philip Nelson, 39, was arrested in early June in Portland at a protest and charged with interfering with a peace officer. However, the district attorney’s office dismissed the charges the following day, and Nelson was released.

At that time, the Multnomah County D.A. was 32 year veteran Rod Underhill, who announced in June his early retirement from the office to step aside for incoming election winner Mike Schmidt. Schmidt was to begin transitioning into the office and officially take over July 31.

On June 16, Portland residents Cassy Leaton, 22, and Najaf “Nate” Hobbs, 39, were allegedly Nelson’s victims in a gruesome stabbing.

According to KOIN News, surveillance video showed the pair heading to the basement of their building.  Shortly thereafter, Leaton stumbled back upstairs, calling for help. Despite assistance from bystanders, she did not survive her multiple stab wounds.

Hobbs was found, stabbed multiple times, on the basement stairs near a bloody trail leading to the basement.

KOIN also reports that police located a “long-bladed knife and ‘significant amount of blood’ inside the basement.”

Surveillance video showed Nelson leaving out the back of the building after Leaton was found.  Bloodstains were found on the inside and outside handles of his exit door.

Two days later, officers tracked Nelson to a nearby grocery store and arrested him. Nelson was charged with two counts of murder.

A recent statement by Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts referred to serious concerns about recidivism on the part of violent protesters who are released.

As we previously reported, Roberts said:

“The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. 

“The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again.”

Roberts, along with Garrett, recently refused Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s call for additional law enforcement personnel and resources in the wake of the apparent execution of Patriot Prayer member Aaron Danielson, also known as Jay Bishop.

As we previously reported, Roberts and Garrett cited Portland’s leadership and their refusal to hold violent protesters accountable for their actions as reasons why they did not feel it was appropriate to send in additional officers and resources.

Danielson’s murder sadly echoes the murders of Leaton and Hobbs.

According to The Post Millennial, protester Michael Reinoehl, 48, was arrested in July at an Antifa riot.  He was reportedly charged with “possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest, and interfering with police.” 

He was cited, and released without any jail time.

Reinoehl is now under investigation by police for the killing of Danielson, who died on scene at a protest from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Reports have suggested that Danielson was hunted and targeted for his support of President Donald Trump.

For his part, Reinoehl has described himself as “100% ANTIFA all the way!”

According to the New York Post, he wrote on social media:

“It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties.”

Recently elected D.A. Mike Schmidt appears to be a common factor in the recent progressive approach to violent protesters, which seems to be a continuation of the actions of his predecessor.  Arguably, the D.A. bears responsibility in part for the reoffenses by released offenders.    

Schmidt was elected in May in the Multnomah County district attorney race.   After a transition period with previous D.A. Underhill, he officially took office at the end of July.

According to Oregon Live:

“Schmidt, 39, of Southeast Portland campaigned on a platform of upending what he characterized as a business-as-usual approach to prosecution.

“He pledged to prioritize addiction and mental health treatment over prisons, ensure that cops who engage in brutality or misconduct are held accountable and review claims of wrongful convictions.”

Schmidt’s webpage speaks to his progressive approach to law enforcement.

It states:

“Mike has a bold, progressive vision to dramatically improve the fairness, effectiveness and cost of our criminal justice system. 

He also has a proven record of working on innovative approaches to reduce incarceration and address racial and economic disparities in the criminal justice system. 

Mike believes we need major reform now.”

But it may be personal connections that also lead Schmidt to have an apparent soft hand when it comes to holding criminals accountable.

Apparently, he counts an Antifa militant as a friend.

According to The Post Millenial, Schmidt has been friends for 20 years with an Antifa militant and social media personality known as Awkword.

Awkword is at the helm of the Ten Demands for Justice movement, which calls on its website for

“Defunding and then full abolition of police and prisons.”

Awkword has stated that he sees Schmidt as an “ally” in his efforts to defund police and reduce incarceration.

The Post Millenial notes that Schmidt stated in a chat with his “buddy” Awkword that most offenders “have been victims themselves” and seek “‘reparative justice’ by being rewarded with social services [as] opposed to imprisonment.”

Schmidt added that the criminal justice system is a “white supremacist culture.”

In addition, Schmidt has characterized the violent riots in Portland as:

“Nothing like the Armageddon that the Trump Administration is trying to portray our city.”

He added:

“This dystopian image that is being painted nationally is not at all what it looks like on our streets.

“We have amazing people out every night talking about the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”

Given his close ties to Antifa and his radically progressive approach to law and order, time will tell whether Schmidt’s actions with violent protestors will be tied to more violence – and murder.

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n case you happened to miss it, here is our report on law enforcement’s take on local leaders’ approach to violent protestors:

PORTLAND, OR – Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown called for local law enforcement outside of Portland to provide personnel and resources to the area to help curb the violence after the murder of Aaron Danielson

As of now, at least two sheriffs have flatly refused the request. 

The reason? 

It is not safe for the deputies because of the leadership in the city.

On Aug. 31, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett released a statement on Facebook, addressing his refusal. He said:

“Yesterday, Governor Brown issued a statement asking local law enforcement leaders to provide personnel and resources to assist the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), following Saturday’s shooting death that was connected to protests.

Statement from Sheriff Pat Garrett:Yesterday, Governor Brown issued a statement asking local law enforcement leaders…

Posted by Washington County Sheriff's Office on Monday, August 31, 2020

“As Washington County Sheriff, I commit to support PPB through indirect ways, like analyzing risks associated with social media, air support, assisting with a specific criminal investigation, etc. 

“At this time, I do not plan to send deputies to work directly in Portland. PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring.

“However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly. 

“Lastly, I support the steps outlined in the Joint Media Release by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and remain committed to work with partners and community leaders towards peace and an end to violence.”

Wow, just wow. 

Garret’s concerns were not the only ones brought to light by the governor’s request. 

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts also refuses to send personnel into Portland, saying:

“Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence.” 

Roberts added:

“The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office. The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again.”

Portions of the Joint Media release that Garret refers to says:

“As law enforcement professionals we believe public safety is the foundation for safe, healthy and thriving communities. We are committed to the wellbeing of the communities we serve and support the right to assembly and free speech. …

“As statewide associations, we are deeply concerned about the criminal acts at recent protest events in Portland that have put community livability and personal safety at risk.  We unequivocally condemn the violence and loss of life that occurred this past weekend.”

The release then adds:

“Abandoning Law Enforcement or the need for policing, is not working. It has only shown that it undermines the rule of law and puts our community at greater risk.”

And here comes a hard-felt moment of truth for the city of Portland and the Democratic liberal leaders there:

“Over the weekend, members of our associations were approached to assist with policing in the City of Portland. 

“Unfortunately, due to the lack of support for public safety operations, the associated liability to agencies who would be assisting in Portland and the lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts, we cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve.”

The release then offered a path forward, if the leadership approved:

“We would propose the following as steps to bring an end to the criminal acts and violence in Portland beginning with a strong statement by elected leadership at all levels that criminal acts are not legitimate protest and that those who commit crimes will be held accountable. 

“There must be support for Law Enforcement actions, through preventative detention and prosecution, when criminal violators are arrested. 

“Finally, there must be publicly voiced support for Law Enforcement and its efforts to protect lawful protesters and hold criminal violators accountable in a very difficult environment.” 

It is unknown if any agency will in fact send officers into Portland to assist with routine patrols as well as riot assistance. 

There have been some claims made that the Oregon State Police will as well as the Gresham Police Department. However, Gresham police say they are in discussions to determine if doing so is the right move.

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