Shooting victim at Milo Yiannopoulos event wants ‘dialogue’ not charges
Julia Carrie Wong, Graun, Jan 25 2017
The victim of a politically charged shooting at a public speech by Milo Yiannopoulos in Seattle is calling for dialogue and “restorative justice” rather than criminal charges. The victim, whose attorney asked that he not be identified by name, was shot in the stomach while protesting at a speech by
the right-wing provocateur Milo The Loathsome One at the University of Washington on Friday night. He remains in the hospital and has undergone multiple surgeries, his attorney, Sarah Lippek, said on Tuesday. The shooter was a Trump supporter who sent a Facebook message to Yiannopoulos asking for an autograph while waiting in line for the controversial event, according to the Seattle Times. The shooter turned himself into University of Washington police on Friday night but was released “in consultation with the prosecuting attorney’s office” and “pending further investigation” according to police. UW police major Steve Rittereiser declined to provide an update on the investigation, but said:
Two suspects presented themselves to us at the police station. The prosecutors’ office recommended that we release them. The investigation is ongoing, but there are no outstanding suspects in this case. The release of the suspects does not pose any danger to the campus community.
The release of the shooter has prompted consternation among some anti-Trump activists, who see a double standard in how left-wing protesters are treated by police. But the victim does not want to see charges filed. Lippek said:
My client isn’t interested in using the apparatus of the state to punish the individual. He’d like to engage in dialogue and a restorative justice process.
The shooting took place during a confrontation between hundreds of protesters and attendees of the Yiannopoulos speech. The Breitbart editor is on a speaking tour of college campuses, and his appearances have been a target of protest by students who object to his racist and transphobic rhetoric (sic!!! we’re defending transexuals!!! – RB). The event was hosted by the University of Washington College Republicans. The group did not respond to queries from the Guardian, but condemned the protesters as “pseudo-terrorism that guises itself as justice” in a Facebook post. According to a statement from the IWW, the victim is a 34-year-old Wobbly. The statement said:
We are deeply saddened by the attack on our friend, who attended the protest to oppose Milo’s hateful speech. He is a long-time anti-racist and anti-fascist activist. He was unarmed and attempting to de-escalate conflict. We are saddened, but not surprised, that the police released the attacker so swiftly.
A crowd-funding campaign for his medical bills has raised more than $45k.