Last Updated on February 17, 2022
National File can exclusively reveal that top Arizona Democrats and mainstream media reporters have strong ties to Riley Behrens, a transgender man arrested multiple times for Antifa-related riots and accused of gang activity.
Behrens garnered fawning national and international media coverage last week after allegedly suffering a “ministroke” after testing positive for COVID-19.
At only 23 years old, Behrens told local and national media that their COVID-19 “ministroke” is proof that young people should take the disease seriously.
“It’s time to start taking this more seriously than a lot of people have,” Behrens told CNN.
Riley Behrens, a 23-year-old rugby player, suffered a ministroke stemming from Covid-19 complications.
— CNN (@CNN) December 4, 2020
“It’s important to remember that COVID-19 can impact anyone, young or old, and have long-lasting effects,” said Arizona Senator-elect Mark Kelly, sharing a Fox 10 Phoenix article about Behrens. “To protect our community, we must keep doing everything we can to stop the spread.”
It’s important to remember that COVID-19 can impact anyone, young or old, and have long-lasting effects. To protect our community, we must keep doing everything we can to stop the spread.https://t.co/FdIIWON0Ib
— Captain Mark Kelly (@CaptMarkKelly) December 7, 2020
However, the mainstream media failed to acknowledge not only that Behrens is an active Antifa member who has been involved in multiple riots, but he also works in politics, being an active organizer and campaigner for Arizona Democrats. In addition, Behrens has strong ties to local media.
Riley Behrens appeared on CNN last week. He's been charged with assisting a criminal gang, aggravated assault w. deadly weapon, riot, obstruction of a highway and unlawful assembly in connection with an October ANTIFA riot in Phoenix pic.twitter.com/gs6iPQAHGV
— Richard (@Wildman_AZ) December 7, 2020
Behrens grew up in San Francisco, and seemingly moved to Arizona some time in mid to late 2018 following a short stint serving in the California National Guard. In their Twitter bio they claim to have just started a masters at Harvard University, currently taking online classes. National File did not receive a response from Harvard when attempting to verify Behrens’ enrollment.
In this year alone, Behrens participated in five violent riots, and was arrested during three of them.
It is slightly surprising that the media failed to mention Behrens’ activity in violent riots, given a short online search would have shown multiple news articles about their arrests. Fox 10 Phoenix, in particular, covered Riley being arrested in late October, just over a month before publishing their recent article regarding Behrens’ coronavirus experience.
National File understands that Behrens is currently facing multiple charges regarding their most recent riot activity, including unlawful assembly, criminal damage, and hindering prosecution of others. Additionally, Behrens is being charged as a gang member for his participation in Antifa riots.
Yep, I’ve got a gang-related charge now. pic.twitter.com/RvZm5nmaDe
— Riley Behrens (@RileyBehrens) October 30, 2020
While Behrens apparently moonlights as an Antifa rioter, he spend his days working in politics. Behrens counts the Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, multiple sitting Arizona State Senators and Representatives, and this year’s Democrat candidate for Maricopa County Attorney, as close, personal friends.
Senator-elect Mark Kelly even participated in a Zoom call this year with Behrens. Representative Greg Stanton, of Arizona’s 6th District, also has links to Behrens. Former Democrat presidential candidate and HUD Secretary Julian Castro was pictured campaigning with Behrens in November.
Behrens was also employed by the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay rights organization.
Thank you, Riley! I'm grateful for your friendship as well! https://t.co/y97ivQml9V
— Mayor Corey Woods (@mayorcoreywoods) December 7, 2020
Behrens boasted multiple times about donating to various Arizona Democrats, and encouraged others to do so. National File was unable to verify their donations, but did verify that Behrens made very small donations, many under $1, to Democrat causes.
National File also contacted the elected officials with public ties to Behrens and asked them whether their violent behavior as an antifa rioter was representative of themselves or the Democrat Party in Arizona.
Not only does Behrens have ties to Arizona Democrats, but she is also friends with news reporters from local ABC and NBC affiliates. We have contacted these TV stations for comment on whether the management is aware of their reporters’ links to a known rioter and suspected gang member.
National File will continue to investigate Behrens and her connections to the Arizona Democratic Party and media outlets.