Wasteful Spending: Portland pays $23k to Antifa militant struck by rubber bullet

James Matthew Mattox, a 31-year-old leader of the anarchist group, brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Portland and the Portland police citing the “physical and emotional pain of having been subjected to extreme police violence.”

Updated: May 31, 2020 - 7:28pm

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The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week, our award is going to the Portland City Council for paying a militant Antifa protest leader a $22,882 cash settlement with taxpayer money after he took a rubber bullet in the arm during an August 2018 demonstration in downtown Portland, Oregon.

During the 2018 demonstration, hundreds of members of the radical anarchist group gathered to confront police by using pepper spray against them. Clad in their signature black, they threw fireworks, bottles, and rocks at police and onlookers. According to local news reports covering the incident, some of the demonstrators were armed with knives and drew blood.

James Matthew Mattox, a 31-year-old leader of the anarchist group, carried a black shield with a white anarchist "A" symbol on it to the demonstration and reportedly shouted profanities at law enforcement and repeatedly flipped them off as they tried to break up the violent riot. Mattox, outfitted in black and accoutered with a motorcycle helmet with visor and bandana covering his face, taunted officers in the street for not being able to hit him with their rubber bullets, before one eventually found his right arm.

This incident prompted attorneys for Mattox and several other rioters to bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Portland and the Portland police on account of the “physical and emotional pain of having been subjected to extreme police violence.”

According to journalist Andy Ngo, who covers political extremists in Portland, Mattox has posted a number of violent anti-police messages on various social media platforms under the pseudonym “Jack Johnstone,” the name of an early member of the U.S. Communist Party. (Ngo's report about the pseudonymous accounts has been picked up by multiple media outlets, including here, here, and here. although Just the News has not been able to independently verify the information.) Ngo says that Mattox, writing as "Johnstone" in an archived Facebook post, cited Christopher Jordan Dorner, Micah Xavier Johnson, and Gavin Eugene Long as “personal heroes” of his. All three men were responsible for attacks against police officers that ultimately claimed the lives of several members of local law enforcement.

“Mr Johnson succeeded at not only killing pigs but causing a shortage as well. Thank you for your service sir,” wrote Mattox on his "Johnstone" Facebook page of the July 2016 incident during which Micah Johnson, a member of the New Black Panther Party, killed five Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Despite his reported glorification of cop-killing on social media and history of arrests during violent Antifa protests, elected officials in Portland have now decided to pay off Mattox with the tax dollars of law-abiding residents of the city.

President Trump announced in a tweet today (May 31) that the U.S. government will be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Last year, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would designate Antifa a “domestic terrorist” organization. Department of Homeland Security are now calling the Friday evening death of an officer in Oakland, California "an act of Domestic Terrorism."

Just the News attempted to reach Mattox for comment via the Facebook he reportedly uses, but has received no response.

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