The jury in journalist Andy Ngo's civil lawsuit reached a verdict on Monday. They found alleged Antifa-associated defendants John Colin Hacker and Elizabeth Renee Richter not liable for the assault and other injuries Ngo sustained due to his eyewitness reporting on the Portland riots. According to lawyers from the Liberty Center who were hired to represent the journalist, Ngo was "brutally targeted and assaulted by multiple members of Antifa Saturday, June 29, 2019. Ngo sought "nearly $1 million in damages" from the alleged Antifa violence, according to reporting from The Post Millenial.
Ngo's "persistent" reporting apparently led to his being identified by Richter and Hacker, who "allegedly worked as Antifa's 'doxxers.'" His identification by the two allegedly "led to a series of physical beatings on May 28, 2021." Neither was held liable for furthering his exposure to brutal assaults.
According to the Liberty Center webpage featuring Ngo's case, the Portland police "refused to intervene during the assault" and "refused to arrest anyone" despite "extensive video evidence."
Liberty Center Ngo Case
Jurors in the case seemed to ignore evidence allegedly showing Richter and Hacker were targeting Ngo. Video evidence presented to the jury showed Richter threatening "to beat [him] worse than what [he] suffered in the June 2019 Antifa attack in which [he] suffered a brain hemorrhage & nearly died," said Ngo in his Aug. 8 Twitter "X" thread. Hacker actually admitted in court to having pointed Ngo out "to a person in the crowd."
According to Ngo's complaint, Hacker allegedly "threw an unknown liquid onto Ngo at a local gym, then forcibly robbed Ngo, taking his phone." Hacker stashed the phone at his gym and refused to return Ngo's phone. Gym staff allegedly had to intervene, returning the phone to Ngo. Hacker's membership was "later revoked by the gym's management."
According to The Post Millennial, Ngo was painted by defense lawyer Michelle Burrows as a "doxxer" himself for uploading on his Twitter account "publicly available mugshots of Antifa-affiliated individuals that have committed crimes." She stated Ngo should "take responsibility" for his words, adding her belief that his "conduct has not been pristine."
Burrows also accused Ngo of creating "a rage machine that has generated so much revenue for Ngo." Post Millennial also reported that during closing statements, Burrows admitted her affinity for and identification with Antifa. Burrows "told the jurors that not only does she self-identify as both a progressive and an 'anti-fascist,' she strongly declared, 'I am Antifa' and insisted upon making herself an 'I am Antifa' t-shirt, which she said she would wear after the trial. Despite Antifa's significant recorded history of violence, she told the jury that Antifa's unfavorable reputation is untrue and depicted the organized militant group as activists fighting for social justice and civil rights."
At one point, The Post Millenial reports Burrows "admitted that the 'black-clad people' who had physically beaten Ngo" were "terrorists."
Ngo believes his character was unfairly assassinated by "star witness Alexander Reid Ross." Ngo stated on his Twitter profile that "Ross is a militant anarchist and geography academic who provided secret instruction to Rose City Antifa." Ngo also shared that the jurors "learned all [Ross's] articles were retracted by the SPLC after he wrongly accused people of being fascists and white supremacists."
Notably, The Post Millennial journalist Katie Daviscourt who was present at the courthouse, reported her car was vandalized while reporting on the Ngo v. Rose City Antifa trial. Daviscourt also shared that Antifa filmed her outside the courthouse, violating court orders while engaging in what she felt was "press intimidation."
The outcome of Ngo's trial is tough for many to swallow, especially because Ngo's beatings were broadcast and described in detail across social media for all to see. The verdict is even tougher given that some peaceful protesters have been convicted and jailed due to their presence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
President Trump designated Antifa a "terrorist organization" for its violent protests that often devolved into pure anarchy in Portland, Minneapolis, and other urban locations. The violent riots in Lafayette Park in D.C. on June 1, 2020, prompted then-Attorney General William Barr to declare the riots the "most violent day in Washington in 30 years, something that the media has not done a very good job of covering." Rioters threw "smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper balls, projectiles at what appeared to be peaceful protesters," Barr said in his interview with Journalist Margaret Brennan on Face The Nation.
It feels to so many that the judicial system has become hopelessly politicized. An unreliable justice system inevitably engenders distrust and hopelessness. Pessimism about our judicial system leads to unrest and malaise manifesting in the populace. Justice that isn't blind is truly bad for everyone.
The mainstream media has not been all that anxious to share details of the "mostly peaceful riots" that swept the country in 2019 and 2020. Legacy media has been all but captured by influential entities whose priorities do not include a truthfully informed electorate. Independent journalist Andy Ngo was one of the few to provide a window into the world of Antifa's "activities." Many Antifa operations became riots, with blocks of burning neighborhoods and "autonomous zones."
In many cases, law enforcement officers involved in the riots often seemed powerless to defend neighborhoods whose residents wanted nothing to do with the riots. In other cases, mayors and city officials asked law enforcement to stand down. Sometimes cops were unfairly charged with crimes associated with their attempts to deal with the perpetrators. Defund the police campaigns have taken some communities by storm. Officers are leaving in droves in some cities.
During the Antifa riots, businesses and homes were destroyed. Innocents like retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn were killed while trying to aid those being looted due to the riots. The consequences of a corrupt judicial system and a captured press are not inconsequential.
The Ngo verdict seems a loss for all because it sows distrust in the system. It discourages other journalists from investigating and delivering the kind of eyewitness, independent reporting Ngo provides. At some point, most journalists will decide that the costs associated with their endeavors outweigh the risks of delivering the truth. The law of natural consequences almost inevitably will kick in.
Nevertheless, Harmeet Dhillon and others started Liberty Center "to stand up for the first amendment and other civil rights" issues. Ngo's was the Center's first case. After the verdict, Dhillon asserted Liberty Center attorneys "will be evaluating the next steps in this case." She thanked those who contributed to Ngo's legal fund, adding that she will "not stand by idly while violent criminals seek to silence American journalists, and this is but one stop in a long journey."