On January 11, a man named Charlie Landeros was shot and killed by police outside a Eugene, Oregon middle school. After a review by the local prosecutor, it was determined that the officer who shot Landeros was justified in doing so because Landeros had pulled a gun and fired twice before the officer returned fire. The scuffle with police was captured on the officer’s body camera and can be seen below. From Oregon Live:

Charles Landeros refused to leave Cascade Middle School when asked to do so by school resource officers Steve Timm and Aaron Johns on Jan. 11, according to district attorney Patty Perlow. Landeros struggled with them when they tried to arrest him and fired two shots at one of the officers, who then fired back and killed Landeros, the district attorney said.

Landeros went to the school that day over a conflict with his daughter’s mother. He had enrolled the girl in the school earlier that week without telling his former spouse, but school officials later learned that the girl’s mother had the sole authority to decide which school the girl attended.

This may sound like a domestic dispute gone wrong but there’s a bit more to this situation. Landeros was a left-wing activist who had been investigated by the FBI and apparently was angry with police in general. KVAL reports on his social media postings just prior to the shooting:

“In 2018, the FBI received information on a tip line that Charles Landeros was posting violent anti-government messages on social media,” according to the DA. “The information was referred to the local FBI office, who concluded there was insufficient information to substantiate that a crime had been committed.”

On January 9, two days before the deadly shooting outside the school, police in nearby Springfield received a screenshot of a Facebook comment on a story about a man shot and killed by police in Portland.

A comment posted by “Charlie Landeros” read, “Time to start killing pigs,” investigators wrote.

Then on the morning of January 11 – about an hour before the incident at Cascade Middle School – someone alerted the manager of Springfield Police Facebook page that someone named “Charlie Landeros” had commented “Death to all pigs” on a post on the department Facebook page about a California police officer shot and killed while investigating a traffic crash.

Landeros’ distrust of the police also led him to create an armed self-defense group which was intended to defend marginalized communities. From the University of Oregon student paper:

Landeros was a member of Community Armed Self Defense, a group that was created as a “new liberatory and inclusive space for all oppressed peoples to learn about armed self-defense,” according to the group’s Facebook page, which is no longer publicly available on Facebook as of 4 p.m. Saturday.

Community Armed Self Defense’s Facebook page said that they could not count on the police to protect marginalized people, and that firearms help marginalized groups protect themselves.

“The police are not here to protect us. They are more likely to harm us themselves than they are to ‘serve or protect’ us,” the group wrote on their Facebook page description.

So if you’re wondering who would be crazy enough to pull a gun on two police officers at a school, there’s your answer: Someone who believes police are the enemy and can’t be trusted. Landeros death was mourned by his comrades in the Eugene area who said he “lived politically.”

Landeros first made national news in 2017 when he led a protest at the University of Oregon which shut down a speech by the school’s president. I wrote about that incident here. Landeros appears in this Oregonian report:

And here’s the body cam video released by the police. As you can see, they were trying to talk to Landeros but he refused to listen and then he pulled a gun and fired two shots:

There’s one last coda to this story. After Landeros death, a local social justice group called the Civil Liberties Defense Group posted a tribute to Landeros which suggested his shooting by police had something to do with his race. Plenty of his activist comrades agreed and were tweeting that the Eugene police had murdered him:

So, coincidentally, on Monday afternoon workers outside the Eugene police headquarters discovered several incendiary devices left outside. Police aren’t speculating about motive and don’t have any suspects yet, but the timing seems like quite a coincidence. From NBC 16:

Police seized more than one “incendiary device” from the north end of the Eugene Police headquarters property Monday afternoon.

“I don’t know what kind of damage they could have done,” Lt. David Natt said. “This is not a hoax device. These are very serious matters.”

Given the police shooting, Landeros’ prior threats against police, his radical politics, the angry response from activists, and (maybe) the incendiary devices—you would think this might become more than just a local news story. But so far it seems that’s not the case. I wonder why the national media isn’t eager to report on this armed left-wing extremist?

Tags: antifa Oregon