American News Sep 18, 2020 3:23 PM EST

Progressive news outlet runs rioter's false doxxing accusation against Andy Ngo without verifying with police

Portland paper Willamette Week published a article Wednesday on Andy Ngo, conflating his coverage of violent rioters with inciting violence upon them. Now a woman's central claim in the article is falling apart.

Progressive news outlet runs rioter's false doxxing accusation against Andy Ngo without verifying with police
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial
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Portland paper Willamette Week published an article Wednesday on Andy Ngo, conflating his coverage of violent rioters with inciting violence upon them. One of the quoted subjects still maintains the claim that a man appeared at her mother's door with gun in-hand because of "Ngo's robust social media presence," but Portland police records found no evidence of a 911 call despite the news outlet's reporting.

30-year-old Black Lives Matter activist Ragina Joe-Marie Gray was charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree, resisting arrest, and interfering with an officer at an Aug. 7 riot when Antifa militants attacked the Portland Police east precinct. She was quickly bailed out.

Ngo, The Post Millennial's editor-at-large, then posted Gray's mugshot and linked her booking information, which are public records archived from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. Ngo noted that Gray is "frequently photographed with kids at protests and rants about white terrorism."

Almost two weeks later on Aug. 19, a man allegedly appeared on the doorstep of Gray's mother's eastside home.

"He was sweaty and nervous looking, and he asked for Ragina by name," Gray's mom, Lucinda Fisher, told WW. "He mentioned [Gray's] son, and I noticed he had a gun in his hand."

The article's preface then reported that Fisher "slammed the door and called the police."

Gray had tweeted screenshotted text exchanges with her mother matching the timeline of the face-off at her residence.

Ngo initially questioned the author of the piece, Sophie Peel, and if she ethically verified the incident before publishing.

"How did reporter @sophiegreenleaf verify the claim that an armed man showed up to Ragina Gray's family home after her booking photo was published? The story says her mother, Lucinda Fisher, immediately called police," Ngo tweeted on Wednesday.

The publication even admitted that "Gray has no direct evidence that Ngo's robust social media presence is the reason an armed man arrived at her mom's house."

Based on police records searching for the accusers' names and the dates of the altercation, no filed cases surfaced, a public information officer wrote to Ngo in an email.

Then Ngo directly contacted Peel with the discovery, informing her that authorities found no record of a police report nor a documented call in the computer-aided dispatch service.

"After you independently verify this, will you be submitting an update to your report?" Ngo volleyed.

Peel asked Ngo to forward his inquiry to her news editor, Aaron Mesh. Ngo noted that he even verified that Fisher's address is within the Portland Police Bureau's jurisdiction to ensure the alleged call was not sent to another department. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Emergency Communications also could not find any corroborating evidence.

On Thursday evening, WW amended the baseless blunder that contradicted a key point of the report defending a handful of alleged criminals whose "lives have since been disrupted," because Ngo released their arrest information.

"After this story was published, readers questioned whether Lucinda Fisher had called police. On Sept. 17, The Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, which fields calls to 911, told WW it can find no record of a call from Fisher or an associated number and address on Aug. 19. Gray and Fisher stand by their account and maintain that Fisher called police," the update read.

Gray's children, ages 9 and 4, reportedly fear for their lives. The mother also brings her kids to the violent Antifa protests. On Gray's Twitter account, she calls herself the "Mom for the Liberation of all Black People."

"They're scared that someone's going to kill me," Gray stated on record to Peel. "My first instinct is to say, 'No, that's not going to happen.' But there's a huge risk."

Gray continues to protest as she deletes messages allegedly from "[m]ostly white men" hurling racial slurs and terrorist accusations.

On the night of Gray's arrest, anti-police rioters assaulted two elderly women who attempted to apprehend vandalism of the police building.

"This is my f—ing neighborhood," Gray shouted at a line of law enforcement, calling the officers "terrorists."

Ahead of the article's publication, Peel reached out to Ngo via email purportedly intending to find out "what objective Mr. Ngo is trying to achieve by posting this personal information, given the risk it presents to the safety of others."

"We'd like to understand what he is trying to accomplish, especially since Mr. Ngo has himself been the victim of a brutal and politically motivated crime," Peel concluded, referring to Ngo's assault in Portland last year by Rose City Antifa.

"As a frequent victim of Antifa death threats and their real-life violence on multiple occasions, I condemn criminal threats and harassment against anyone," Ngo wrote in an emailed response, emphasizing that he encourages victims to report incidents to law enforcement.

Ngo went on to assert that he believes it is his "duty as a journalist" to inform the public about dangerous individuals identified by criminal authorities who meet the standard for arrest.

"Given the risk that violence and riots present to the public, including journalists," he continued, "it is imperative that the press report fully on these matters."

"If you feel that transparency and public right to know should be outweighed by arrestee rights to privacy, this is a complaint for the legislature, not for journalists reporting in compliance with state and federal law," Ngo fired back. "A better question would be, 'Why do some journalists feel compelled to hide the identities of suspected criminals from the public?' Another would be, 'Whose interests does the suppression of criminal arrest data serve?'"

The Post Millennial reached out to Gray and Fisher for comment and have not heard back by the time of publication.

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