Ross was called to the stand on Monday to present his supposed "expertise" on the "far-right," which he said includes Post Millennial senior editor Andy Ngo, in the defense's attempt to undermine Ngo's credibility as a journalist. However, Ngo has never had an article retracted out of the thousands of reports he has done throughout his career.
Ross told the jury he "identifies as Antifa" and described himself as a peer-reviewed writer who specializes on the far right, disinformation, and political ecology. The defense team brought him as a witness, saying that Ross is an "expert" on these subjects because his work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. However, Ngo's attorney revealed during cross examination that Ross' reporting is allegedly too extreme for the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which had retracted an article by Ross after he had falsley identified individuals as white nationalists, white supremacists, and anti-Semites.
Ngo's team objected to Ross being called as a witness on the basis of relevancy, and questioned why Ross would be deemed an expert in this sector when he teaches geography. The judge overruled the objection and allowed the questioning to continue.
Ross was asked how Ngo fits into the far-right media ecosystem, and said that he is a "provocateur" and "rage inducer" who is "very biased and unclear about the subject he is biased towards." Ross noted that Ngo is "someone who takes on the appearance of a journalist" and "infiltrates" the organizations he covers in order to "become or provoke the stories."
Ross provided no evidence that backed up his defamatory statements other than claiming that he is an "expert."
When questioned about examples of Ngo's erroneous reporting, Ross cited Ngo's best-selling book, "Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plans to Destroy Democracy," a non-fiction book and New York Times bestseller.
Ross said that Ngo's book is false and misleading since the journalist "doesn't really define Antifa," and referred to it as a "phantom movement." Ross asserted that Antifa is simply a "ideology" and encouraged others to become "antifascists" too.
According to leaked emails from the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement agencies identify Antifa as an organization that engages in "organized" rather than sporadic violence.
Ross testified that Ngo's reporting on Antifa militant and murderer Michael Reinoehl, who shot and killed a Trump supporter in cold blood in Portland in 2020, was inaccurate by implying that Reinoehl had acted in self-defense. The man Reinoehl killed was unarmed, and footage shows the murder had been unprovoked, as Ngo reported. Following a multi-agency manhunt, Reineohl was shot and killed during a police shootout.
Ross claimed that Ngo posted publicly available mugshots of people who have been arrested and that this makes Ngo a provocateur. The professor also falsely claimed that Ngo provided "kill lists," which he referred to as “the mark of Cain,” to right-wing agents. Defendant Richter continues to tweet about these alleged kill lists to this day, though there is no corroboration of this allegation against Ngo.
Ross is a geography professor at Portland State University and a fellow of the Centre for Radical Right Analysis. He has been featured on Portland-area television stations, where he runs Antifa's defense. According to Quilette, his work has appeared in left-wing outlets such as VICE, The Washington Post, and The Daily Beast, and his writings include favorable coverage of Antifa and its tactics.
Ross wrote a book titled "Against the Fascist Creep" in defense of Antifa and their aggressive tactics. Dr. Ross compared conservatives to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and suggested that people needed to be "militant" in order to keep them in control while discussing the book at the Orange County Anarchist Book Fair in 2017. Furthermore, he urged the audience to "get their hands dirty" when confronted with fascism.
Ross writes for the far-left online news site, It's Going Down, in which he defends and praises anti-fascists groups, including Rose City Antifa, which has been named in Ngo's complaint. Ross wrote, "It is great to see all of the Antifa groups springing up, the first I think was Rose City Antifa, but New York City and a bunch of others are equally as important."
Ross has also defended the infamous 2020 riots in Portland, Oregon, in which he falsely blamed the violence on Trump supporters and law enforcement in an interview with Salon.
Journalist Andy Ngo is suing Rose City Antifa and its alleged affiliated members claiming physical violence which began in 2019. The civil jury trial is ongoing at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.
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