Antifa blames police for homeless man's death despite conflicting medical examiner report

PORTLAND, OR - In July, 46-year-old William Echols, a homeless man from Portland, was found dead in the nearby town of Gresham. According to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner, Echols died of natural causes.

That wasn’t enough to convince Antifa, however. Last week, members of the far-left militia posted on X (formerly Twitter) that police killed Echols, Post Millennial reported.

The outlet reports that Antifa pushed that narrative after Donna Hayes, an ex-partner of Echols, made a Facebook post claiming that one of her family members had been beaten to death by police. Hayes is related to 17-year-old Quanice Hayes, who was shot to death by police in 2017 after committing robbery while high on drugs and carrying a replica firearm.

“The kops did it again,” Hayes posted. “They took out another one of my family member [sic] here in Portland. They beat him to death.”

Despite not naming Echols in her post, many Antifa members took her at her word. The Facebook post was shared dozens of times and received hundreds of reactions.

Journalist Andy Ngo wrote on Twitter that Antifa accounts based in Portland were “calling for direct action at 8:30 pm PT Aug. 29 at Chapman Square to target the Multnomah County Justice Center.”

One prominent Antifa account, operated by a long-time Antifa antagonist, Danialle Inez James, echoed Hayes’ claims while calling for “direct action.”

“We’re about to show up,” RisingPDX posted. “Kops have…beat to death a member of Quanice Hayes family.”

“Alright, gear up,” another responded.

Another Antifa antagonist, Elizabeth Renee Richter, a defendant in a civil trial against Antifa members by Ngo, also joined in on the hoax. Later that night, Echols’ name was mentioned as the individual allegedly beaten to death by Portland police.

The next day, that narrative was debunked.

“Investigators spoke to potential witnesses, reviewed surveillance video, and searched Echols’ vehicle pursuant to a signed search warrant,” Gresham police said in a statement.

“A Multnomah County deputy medical examiner responded to the scene and performed a full examination. Detectives learned from the examination that Echols died of natural causes, specifically ‘gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.’ Detectives determined that the health event caused Echols to fall and hit his head on the ground in the parking lot, which caused the injury to his head.”

That narrative was confirmed in the days following his death. A GoFundMe was set up by his daughter Alexis on behalf of his ex. In the fundraiser’s description, Alexis said her father died due to “a sudden unknown medical emergency.”

“My dad didn’t have a lot to give, but he was adventurous, smart, funny, and he loved us the best way he knew how,” she added. “We will use this money for funeral and memorial services, and additional funds will go directly to his children.”
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