The story told by Mark Walters in “Ammoland” gives his two-cents on what stakes he believes are at play in the Mike Strickland gun case in Portland, Oregon.
The story borrows heavily from my stories here, but here is part of Walters’s own take on the issue:
A story of self-defense, so compelling that the nation needs to see and hear it, yet it is blatantly and intentionally neglected by the “dominant” and failing “mainstream” media.
Another saying I’ll take credit for is this, “It isn’t the stories they cover or how they cover them that make the media so biased against us, more importantly, it’s the stories they don’t cover that make them so dangerous.” This is one of those stories.
Keep in mind that I’m aware that many of us here on these pages might very well know about Mike Strickland but understand that it isn’t you I’m talking about. It’s the hundreds of millions of American’s who do NOT read these pages. Look, we’re plugged in over here, I get that and so do you, so do the advertisers, and anyone else who cares to read the great information presented here at AmmoLand News, but let’s be real for a moment, shall we?
There are hundreds of millions of Americans who never see this stuff, and have never heard of Mike Strickland and, well dammit, they should. Mike Strickland should be in every living room, computer screen, tablet, phone, internet site and evening cable and broadcast news program in America. But he won’t be unless we do something about it.
One can’t discuss the Mike Strickland gun case in Portland, Oregon without considering the first amendment ramifications of his prosecution.
Strickland, a freelance journalist, drew his legal, licensed, registered concealed hand gun while covering a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX march and rally July 7, 2016.
After covering the event for awhile, Strickland was forced to draw his weapon, a Glock handgun, to stop a phalanx of protesters who converged on him. The mob came from three sides in order to attack and stop him from covering the rally.
Believing he was in danger, Strickland swept the black bloc attired mob, without his finger on the trigger, to stop the threat coming at him from the left. He then protected his right flank, sweeping the people converging on him from the front.
His self defense move worked long enough for him to back away from the mob. When he got to relative safety, he surrendered to police–who had just arrived about a block away.
Strickland drew his pistol after getting assaulted–roughed up if you prefer–by the same mob of people mere moments before. This time, he knew they were going to ‘get’ him–because they told him–and he drew.
Indeed, as video proves, the mob surrounding him began yelling “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” before he even showed his gun or drew it. They knew he carried.
One was overheard on video bragging that they had gotten him to draw his weapon.
A witness in court testified there had been a conspiracy by anarchists to assault him and toss him out of the rally.
Strickland was questioned and released the night of his attack and he was ordered to court on a misdemeanor count of menacing.
When it was discovered who prosecutors had–the hated Laughing at Liberals guy–the 1 charge turned into 21 and the 1 misdemeanor turned into multiple felonies.
Deputy District Attorney, Kate Molina, decided that Strickland was a danger to society and–who knew?– was a “white nationalist” and “racist.”
The “racist” label was attached to Strickland for his coverage of a “whiteness” lecture series which made national news. It certainly was not due to Strickland’s own beliefs and actions. But thereafter, protesters routinely yelled at rallies and marches that he was a racist or white nationalist in order to incite violence against him and ruin his video coverage of them.
The prosecutor took the word of the people who had-it-in-for Strickland and, using prosecutorial discretion, sprinkled fairy dust on the assaultive mob who then magically became ‘victims.’
Strickland’s attorneys told me they believe the prosecution always had been a political statement.
An outside attorney who lives in Vancouver, Washington arrived at the same conclusion and wrote me:
“Prosecutorial zeal and judicial hostility to the Second Amendment have combined in a perfect storm of injustice.”
In leftist, anti-gun Portland, a simple act of self defense was inflated into a 21 count felony indictment that could land the 37-year-old Portland journalist in prison for 50+ years.
Abject lies about Strickland’s ‘racism’ and ‘white nationalism’–made-up thought crimes–enhanced the charges against him. Deputy district attorney Kate Molina said so in court.
Strickland’s bail blew up to $250,000. The charges included 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of disorderly conduct.
Court watchers told me that after fewer than five minutes of reflection, on Friday, February 10, 2017, Judge Thomas Ryan announced his verdict: guilty on all 21 counts.
By now you may have read the various posts about this case. Maybe you’ve seen the video of the mob going after Strickland.
Here’s what you don’t know.
Ever since Strickland was formally charged, his own video of what happened that day has been under seal. It saw daylight only to be shown in court the day the judge convicted him. The judge said the attack by the mob should have NO bearing on Strickland’s actions that day.
But there’s more.
Strickland has been ordered not to do what he did for a living. He can’t work.
He can’t blog or write.
He can’t go near any protest.
He can’t video any protest.
The institutional left in Portland has silenced a contrary political voice. Moreover, the institutional left in Portland has done so to a journalist.
The leftist protesters and some members of institutional Portland–Cease Fire Oregon, perhaps?–allowed this miscarriage of justice to occur to a person with an unpopular viewpoint who defended himself with unpopular weapon.
As you can read in my posts (see below), after Strickland’s incident, a local television photographer was injured while covering a mob, other reporters were threatened by anarchists if they dared use their cameras to show protesters … or else.
Anarchists were running the show on the streets. Who was running the prosecutor’s office?
The one guy who tried to defend himself was brought up on 21-felony charges and faces decades in prison. And the very people who assaulted him in order to shut him up haven’t been charged.
Let’s stop and appreciate this for just moment. Prosecutors, the mayor, police–institutional Portland–threw the book at a guy who defended himself from getting the shit beat out of him by a bunch of anarchists because they don’t like his viewpoint and were trying to stop him from reporting a story.
In short, if you defend yourself you could be thrown in prison just because they don’t like your political viewpoint. That’s a powerful message to send a community.
And Strickland can’t say one word to defend himself…or else.
Last Friday, Multnomah County judge Thomas Ryan found Mike Strickland guilty on all 21 counts against him.
Strickland drew his legal, licensed, registered concealed hand gun while covering a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event July 7, 2016.
He drew his weapon, a Glock handgun, to stop a phalanx of protesters who converged on him from all angles in order to attack and stop him from covering the rally. He swept the black bloc attired mob with his gun, without his finger on the trigger, to stop the threat. It worked long enough for him to back away from the mob.
Some news outlets have reported that Strickland was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers. In fact, a jury didn’t hear the case.
Approximately 40 people were chosen as the pool from which the jury for Strickland’s case would be selected.
During selection, it was soon discovered that the pool was so tainted, that even with defense attorneys peremptory challenges, many anti-second amendment people would make it on the jury.
Here’s how badly tainted the jury pool was.
Let’s start with the The Oregonian report that said 30% of the jury pool was anti-second amendment. Actually, in its own report, the newspaper expanded that number.
Here’s a sampling of jurors replies to questions about guns:
When questioned about how many were “generally opposed to firearms,” nine of the people in the jury pool raised their hands. As the discussion progressed, more said they were opposed on some level, too.
“I don’t like them,” one man said.
“I hate them,” said a woman.
Another prospective juror said she thinks guns should be legal only for police and maybe for hunters in remote areas where they’re responsible for getting their own food, such as in Alaska.
Even a few hunters in the group said they only take their guns out for hunting trips, then lock them at home, where they belong.
“I have pretty strong feelings about the type of person who would want to carry a gun around for personal protection,” said one hunter.
“I’m an advocate of guns,” said another hunter. “I like guns, actually. But I think most people, if they have the proper training, they should know when to and when not to pull them out.”
…Jason Short, another defense attorney, asked if any of the potential jurors were opposed to using a gun to defend themselves at home or if strangers approached them at an ATM. A few jurors raised their hands.
“I’m just afraid that someone would be killed, and it wouldn’t have happened if the firearm wasn’t there,” said a woman. “I’m just very uncomfortable with a gun coming out.”
A few of the people said the circumstances would have to be truly extreme to warrant using a gun.
“Someone kicks me, I shouldn’t pull a gun out on them,” one said.
Short asked if any of them had ever had to make a split second decision to protect their well-being.
Yes, said one man. He was once attacked and robbed by five people — and he decided not to fight.
“I chose to be a pacifist,” the man said.
But it was even more anti-gun than the Oregonian reported.
In fact, courtroom watchers say, that by the time the jury questioning was done, only two jurors were possibly pro-second amendment, pro-self defense, pro-conceal carry. Two.
But, wait, there’s more.
It turns out that one of the potential jurors actually knew who Mike Strickland was. Why? Because she was part of an anti-gun activist group, Cease Fire Oregon, that was often covered by Strickland on his YouTube channel “Laughing at Liberals.”
Members of this anti-second amendment group monitored and attended Strickland’s trial.
How’s that for a coincidence?
I’m not done yet.
What would be the chance of a jury pool in Multnomah County including a person who had attended the same rally–as an anti-gun activist and protester the day Strickland drew his gun at anarchists.
Don’t bother guessing. In this case, the chance was 100%.
Strickland and his lawyers opted for a trial in front of the judge.
After his lawyers took apart the two “star” witnesses at trial, one of whom was on video giving a pep talk with the Black Panthers to urge rally goers to use their guns to shoot cops–I’m not making this up–
After that same witness admitted to a conspiracy to rough up Strickland at the protest–
After another one of the witnesses–a multiple felon who was well known for lying–was found lying on the stand–
After cops corroborated almost all of Strickland’s account of events, though they didn’t see the first assault–
After a surprise witness was brought in at the 59th minute of the 11th hour to counteract the defense’s use-of-force witness–
After all that. The judge, I’m told, took no more than a couple of minutes to consider the evidence and find Strickland guilty of all charges.
Margot Black is the founder of the group called “Portland Tenants United.”
This group, as well as the Portland Professional Protesters, got Portland City Commissioners to pass an ordinance to stick it to landlords by forcing them to pay the relocation costs of tenants who are displaced by no-cause evictions and those who leave willingly because of rent increases.
The aim, of course, is to eventually bring rent prices under the control of government and away from the market place.
Though she is the director of “quantitative” stuff, she appears to have some difficulty quantifying, not to mention validating her wild claim about, “home grown” Oregon landlords.
“Home grown Oregonians tend to be white and racist.”
She felt perfectly comfortable in her own skin in making this offensive and outrageous statement on a recent edition of KATU TV’s “Your Voice Your Vote” hoping that calling others ‘racist’ would win converts to her plan for government take over of housing.
Make sure you catch the part where she says “mom and pop” landlords are too sympathetic so she prefers to deal with large corporate landlords because they’re easier to manipulate by government regulation.
Freelance journalist Mike Strickland faces 50-plus years in prison for drawing his gun to defend himself against a group of anarchists rushing him to assault him at a Portland protest last July. The group had already assaulted him moments before in an attempt to frighten him into stop him from recording the event.
Strickland never fired his weapon, but the mere presence of the gun caused the men and women coming at him to stop for a moment, giving him time to begin backing away in retreat before they threatened to come at him again.
For defending himself against the band of masked and armed thugs bearing down on him to beat him with their flagpoles (again), Strickland now faces a long stretch in prison.
The unspoken yet neon bright message from the Portland judge overseeing the case was ‘in Multnomah County you can’t use your gun in self-defense.’
That chilling message, and the fact that Strickland did nothing wrong in defending himself, is why the case will be appealed.
For many years, Portland has been indulgent to the professional protester class, allowing them to take over the streets, parks, freeways, sidewalks without permits required of other citizens as just one example. Politicians have even marched with them.
On the occasions when lawless and violent protesters are arrested, they are usually quickly processed around the corner from the protest and ticketed.
Not so with Strickland. He was processed, held for hours, his possessions confiscated, and ordered to present himself in court days later where the DA had magically transformed his attackers into ‘victims.’
Compare this to the treatment of a prominent professional protester, Jessie Sponberg, who was among the dozens of people blocking the Portland Airport recently. Thousands of people were inconvenienced by the antics of Sponberg and his cohorts.
A counter protester was shouting Bible verses at the group as they blocked the roads and pathways of people trying to catch their planes or get home.
Eventually, as Sponberg later admits it on this video, he couldn’t stand it anymore and cold-cocked the guy. He assaulted the man, knocking him out for several minutes.
The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries.
Here’s a video of the assault:
And here was his response to my question about his prosecution on a Facebook post:
There is a two tier system of justice in Multnomah County. One for protesters and one for everyone else.
By now many of you know that Mike Strickland, a pro-gun, freelance journalist was convicted of 21 counts of self defense on Friday, Feb.10.
Strickland had been attacked by a mob in Portland while covering a “Black Lives Matter” protest. The attack was planned and coordinated in advance.
You can read more about it here. Victoria Taft has done an outstanding job of documenting the attack and the trial and you can see that here.
In truth, Mike was convicted the moment he was arrested by Portland Police for defending himself against the same kind of mobsters who have trashed Portland repeatedly. Their criminal actions are rarely punished by a county “Justice System ” that encourages rioting and looting but creates political prisoners of people who attempt to defend themselves from criminal attack.
From the moment he was arraigned it was clear the fix was in. As soon as the D.A.’s office in Multnomah County realized who Mike was, they began to assure he would never get a fair trial. And they succeeded.
Mike’s bail was set at an astonishing and unprecedented quarter of a million dollars!
The D.A.’s office made open and absurd accusations about him to the press. They said he was a “white nationalist” and a “racist.” All of it was lies. But what would you expect from a county whose D.A. is a rabid advocate for gun restrictions? D.A. Rod Underhill has testified in favor of gun control bills in Salem and is a proud member of an anti-gun prosecutor’s organization.
…When it came time to seat a jury it became clear very quickly that the chances of getting impartial jurists in Multnomah County were almost zero. Only two of the potential jurors believed it was ok to have a firearm for self protection. Both would be eliminated by the prosecutors.
Michael’s lawyers made the decision to dispense with the jury and opted for a bench trial. They understood their only hope was a fair and honest judge. They hoped for too much.
The judge came back with word late this afternoon that Mike Strickland had broken the law when he drew his weapon in self defense as several anarchists in their black bloc attire converged upon him.
The 21 count indictment included 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of disorderly conduct.
After what one court observer said was a “cluster f**k of a prosecution” the state rested but the judge allowed in a surprise rebuttal witness, that had not been vetted by the defense, to counter the the defendant’s ‘use of force’ witness.
While they’re are many appealable aspects of this trial, this is huge blow.
Strickland was in shock at the verdict by the judge and the shock of this travesty of justice will continue to sink in in the coming days.
Strickland drew his legal, licensed, registered concealed hand gun while covering a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event July 7, 2016. He drew his weapon, a Glock handgun, to stop a phalanx of protesters who converged on him from all angles in order to attack and stop him from covering the rally. He swept the black bloc attired mob with his gun, without his finger on the trigger, to stop the threat. It worked long enough for him to back away from the mob.
Strickland is a trained user of his firearm and it’s a good thing too, because if he hadn’t been armed that evening in Portland we’d be talking about raising money for his hospital bills or long term nursing costs or maybe asking people to come scoop food off his chin as he struggled to eat.
The July event was one of scores of rallies, protests and events Strickland had covered over the years.
The journalist and videographer started first as a citizen journalist and then became a working journalist for Progressives Today and for his own news platform “Laughing at Liberals.” He also worked for other websites by providing content.
We always knew, and now testimony in court confirms, that Strickland was singled out for attack by a cadre of anarchists.
Testimony confirmed that the organizer of the rally conspired with the anarchists
to attack Strickland and drag him away from the rally to stop him from recording them.
Anarchists I interviewed told me they were angry with the way Strickland depicted them and their buddies in his videos and wanted him to stop.
In one particularly ‘egregious’ series of reports, Strickland recorded and shone a light on a so- called “Whiteness” conference at Portland Community College. His coverage showed the pretzel logic of white privilege. They didn’t like it—especially after it made national news.
They didn’t like it when he’d show up to Cease Fire Oregon events and record speakers. He’d shout out questions to their speakers at news conferences. Cease Fire Oregon was one of the groups that brought political pressure to lock him up.
I talked to their director, Penny Okamoto, for a series of podcasts being produced. Okamoto didn’t want to be recorded but acknowledged that while Strickland had never done anything dangerous, she felt he was scary.
Between the coverage of these people and events, activists decided to portray Strickland as a “white nationalist” and “racist” when they saw him at events apparently due to his reportage of the “Whiteness” conference.
The DA took the word of these liars, anarchists and protesters that he was a “white nationalist” and was a threat to society. His misdemeanor all of a sudden blew up into 21 felony counts.
He was jailed while trying to make bail.
The prosecution of Mike Strickland is nothing short of a politically-motivated, institutional hate crime perpetrated by the Multnomah County (Portland) district attorney and aided and abetted by the human tributaries of activists, protesters and anarchists who form the river of public life in Stumptown.
Notice that the very second he saw the man identified as Kerensa coming, he immediately tensed and pointed his gun in his direction.
Why? Because the “big guy” roughed up Mike just minutes before. Read about that part of it <a href=”http://www.victoriataft.com/exoneration-portland-citizen-journalist-mike-strickland-laughing-liberals/”>here. </a>
Here’s Kerensa being arrested in October at City Hall:
Here’s Kerensa menacing and blocking a driver from getting to the airport:
Viewers of KOIN 6 saw his antics during a live shot by a reporter covering the airport protest:
Why would Kerensa go so far out of his way to hurt Strickland? Here’s part of the reason:
And here’s Ben Kerensa bearing down on Mike Strickland. He later boasted that he was the reason Strickland pulled his weapon:
Here is the man, identified by people as Benjamin Kerensa, bearing down on Mike Strickland as he tries to back away from the smaller group that broke off from the main BLM protest. This was in an apparent attempt to hurt him and keep him from filming. Watch the man believed to be Kerensa at the top right of this GIF.
This video has been out there for all to see on The Oregonian website. The paper stripped this video off periscope and youtube accounts of the incident.
Prosecutors in the Mike Strickland case suffered yet another embarrassing blow when they put their star witness on the stand, felon and ‘victim’ Ben Kerensa.
Kerensa was seen on several videos at the July 7th Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX protest charging Strickland. The 400 pound man and others rushing him caused Strickland to draw his weapon and point it at the men rushing him. The prosecution calls him a ‘victim.’
What became clear as soon as he opened his mouth was that the only ‘victim’ in that courtroom was the truth.
Under cross examination Kerensa was found to have lied about:
Talking to police July 7, though there was a police report.
Emailing police information, though the email was never given to defense attorneys during discovery.
How many times Mike pulled his gun. Kerensa testified Strickland pulled it as many as 5 times.
Shoving Mike in the protest crowd.
Kerensa is an ecumenical felon, having been tried and convicted at both federal and state levels. He went to prison for impersonating FBI agents, been accused of extortion by a former boss, spent time in federal prison for making bomb threats on yet another former employer and a huge tech convention in San Francisco.
He was arrested for theft during the take over of Portland City Hall by protesters in October:
Kerensa and others menaced and surrounded the car of a couple who were trying to get to the airport but blocked by protesters a couple of weeks ago.
Viewers of KOIN 6 saw his antics during a live shot by a reporter covering the airport protest:
Observers told me that during Kerensa’s testimony the judge looked shocked and disconcerted. I don’t know what they’re basing that on. It could have been a case of gas for all I know, but that observation came from more than one court watcher.
Kerensa’s unbelievable testimony was followed up by Portland Police Officer Brandon Combs.
The cop, who also had been called by the prosecution and who was undercover and in the crowd during the protest, testified Strickland pulled his gun once. He also testified that he didn’t see the initial assault by the anarchists in the crowd which precipitated the unholstering of Strickland’s weapon.
Another police officer Mihran Andonian testified that he had his gun out at “low ready” as Strickland made his approach.
This is how a court observer said his cross examination went:
He testified that Mike was compliant and did not resist. On cross-exam, the defense attorney was able to ask some hypotheticals against unsuccessful objections by the state. “What if Mike came running to you? Would you have used your gun?” Andonian’s answer, “No, because there were many officers around and Mr. Strickland would’ve been tackled to the ground.” Follow up hypothetical by defense attorney, “What if you were all alone and he came running at you? Would you then draw your gun?” Andonian’s response, “Yes, I would draw my gun.”
The last hypothetical in which the officer claimed he would have drawn his gun was the exact situation in which Strickland found himself.
The prosecution also called the downtown precinct commander at the time, Chris Davis, who testified they heard about the protest but didn’t have enough time to get uniformed cops out there in time.
This explains why Strickland couldn’t depend upon help from cops and why he felt the need to defend himself.
Day-2 of Mike Strickland’s trial saw a pivotal moment in the case.
Lawyers for Strickland waived his right to a jury trial and opted to be tried solely by the judge.
Strickland is on trial for pulling his legally licensed, registered gun at protesters and anarchists as they rushed him to assault him–again–at a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally last July 7th in downtown Portland.
Court watchers reported Tuesday that the Portland jury pool had so many anti-gun, anti-second amendment members that Strickland wouldn’t get a fair trial. One of the prospective jurors belonged to a an anti-gun group whose leader was pushing for Strickland to be prosecuted.
The Oregonian reported that 30% of the jury pool was against guns.
Previously, Strickland’s defense team moved for a change of venue which was denied by the judge.
In day-2 testimony, the first prosecution witness was absolutely picked apart by the defense.
Court watchers reported that the cross examination was so thorough that the defense attorneys, Jason Short and Chris Trotter, were able to use the witness’s testimony to their advantage.
Witness John Slaughter is a local sports coach. He’s had gigs at Benson High School and PCC. He’s also a frequent protester and one of the organizers of the July 7 Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event.
Slaughter crossed paths with Strickland when the journalist was videotaping a ‘peaceful’ tribute to Orlando victims.
Activists gathered for the event immediately seized on Strickland, calling him names such as “white nationalist,” “racist” and other labels in an attempt to stop him from videotaping.
Eventually, one man grabbed his camera, explaining that it was a ‘peaceful’ vigil and that he should leave, but that didn’t stop the hate from being heaped on Strickland by ‘peaceful’ protesters.
A man wearing a dress began shrieking at Strickland and calling him, wrongly, a “white nationalist” and telling him to “get your white nationalist ass out of here”:
Activists who had gathered for the Orlando tribute were ‘triggered’ by Strickland enough to surround him, push him and try to take his camera away from him.
Let’s pause here for a second and take up the ‘white nationalist’ issue.
This white nationalist label and the left’s copious use of it to describe Strickland appears to come from the journalist’s coverage of the Portland Community College series on “whiteness.” The uncomfortable spotlight on one of the left’s pet issues–white privilege– angered them. Protesters began calling him a racist and white nationalist for showing (and sometimes mocking) the lectures on his YouTube channel.
Strickland’s stories made national news.
That infuriated the organized left.
After Strickland was arrested for drawing his weapon, PCC and Portland State University, places where he found endless story ideas, immediately banned him from campus. That ban continues today.
Prosecutor Kate Molina used the left’s ‘white nationalist’ and ‘racist’ labels to increase and enhance the charges against Strickland and keep him behind bars for a longer period of time.
Molina never provided proof, rather she relied hearsay reports–from people like John Slaughter, anti-gun crusader (and frequent Strickland object) Penny Okamoto, and, who knows, maybe that guy in the dress, to say Strickland was somehow a racist.
This game of prosecutorial ‘telephone’ cost Strickland plenty. And their adolescent group think cost Strickland his freedom.
Back to the ‘peaceful’ Orlando tribute. Eventually, one man told Strickland he could video him and even gave his job title and phone number for public consumption.
That man was John Slaughter. He was the prosecution’s first witness.
Slaughter testified that on July 7 a group of anarchists and protesters got together and conspired to go get Strickland. Their aim was to kick him out of the protest to prevent him from covering it.
Of course, he didn’t call it a conspiracy, but that’s what it was. Court watchers told me he also seemed to have no clue that planning an assault was illegal.
Slaughter was one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot #PDX event.
He testified that Mike’s concealed Glock was openly carried. Wrong.
He testified that cops swarmed the place. Wrong.
He testified that some of their members were armed. Oops.
He didn’t know if his “event” was permitted.
He claimed Mike was a racist and troublemaker but testified that members of his group initiated the contact with Mike to get him thrown out.
Prosecutors are hanging their hats on the idea that somehow this protest was “family friendly” and that Mike came to disrupt it as a counter protester.
One warned protesters that if they saw him go somewhere he “was going in violence.” He menacingly followed Strickland up the street after the journalist put his gun away and was backing away to safety.
And here’s John Slaughter endorsing this ‘family friendly’ violence right along with them:
Actually endorsing violence, plotting a crime and carrying it out has not resulted in Slaughter being banned from PCC, by the way.
This post about the day-2 events is late because photos from my first post were reported to the court and got one our court watchers banned from the courtroom.
Michael Strickland is on trial in a Multnomah County courtroom on a 21 count felony indictment for pulling his gun in self defense at a group of anarchists rushing him at a protest.
Strickland, who’s a journalist working for his own news platform called “Laughing at Liberals” as well as doing occasional work for another online news publication, recorded the July Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event July 7, 2016.
Day one of the trial saw arguments about admissible evidence and jury selection.
Quite a bit of discussion centered on legal distinctions between possession of a weapon and carrying a weapon.
While previous works by Strickland were ruled as inadmissible for some reason, the prosecution got into evidence the number of magazines the journalist had in his possession when he was arrested.
They undoubtedly hope to depict the Portland man as a crack pot who came to murder a bunch of people that day.
But Strickland had been to this rodeo before. There’s plenty of evidence, though now it may not be admissible, showing him hassled and threatened by protesters before–sometimes within an inch of his nose as someone yelled in his face–while continuing to record.
It’s one of the reasons why the protesters, and a particular anarchist contingent, don’t like him. He records their activities–holds up a mirror–and they feel stupid.
The prosecution also hopes to depict him as a crack pot gun nut with a camera–not a journalist.
To that end, prosecutors Kate Molina and Todd Jackson hope to leave the impression that Strickland is somehow a “protester,” which is something that is clearly not true. If he’s a protester then every camera operator and reporter covering protests are too.
He wasn’t assaulted, pushed and hit with anarchists sticks because he was a “protester,” he was assaulted and they came back to do him harm again because he was a journalist who recorded their activities and they didn’t like it.
Already the “protester” label has found its way into Portland media. While listening to KXL Monday afternoon, the anchors twice called Strickland a “protester.” See a letter I sent to KXL on this matter below.
Strickland knew enough about what this group was capable of that he often wore his legal, licensed concealed hand gun in the off chance that someday he’d need it. That day came last July 7th.
As a marauding group of anarchists came at him, he pulled his gun and kept them from hurting him.
Now he’s on trial for his freedom.
Jury selection began from a group of 40 citizens. It continues today.
In the chambers to support Strickland were former U.S. Senatorial candidate Mark Callahan, who’s a friend of Strickland’s; science writer, former local TV newsman and retired commercial airline pilot, Chuck Wiese; and local businesswoman Kathleen Worman.
Letter to KXL:
Victoria Taft here. I’m writing in my capacity as a journalist, indeed a former local president of a Society of Professional Journalists chapter, a working journalist and as a radio host.
I listened to your coverage of the Michael Strickland case on KXL in the 5pm hour of Monday and noticed you referred to him as a “protester.”
Strickland is not, nor has ever been, a “protester.” He runs a news platform called “Laughing at Liberals” on YouTube and has been a writer for Progressives Today, a news platform. He’s a working journalist–or at least was, until the prosecutors ordered him to stop doing his job.
The prosecution in this case has sought to depict Strickland as a “protester” to marginalize his rationale for being at the protest July 7, 2016 in his role as a reporter.
Prosecutors seek to make the case that somehow he’s some nut case with a gun who came to shoot people. That’s absurd on its face. He brought his legal, licensed concealed handgun to protect himself from a cadre of anarchists beelining to hurt him and who, indeed, had already assaulted him on that day.
He’s been covering these folks for years without incident.
It’s a darned good thing he had his weapon with him last July or we’d be reporting on fund raisers to pay for his hospital bills or something equally horrific.
By your choosing to use the untrue and prejudicial words of the deputy district attorney who’s trying to put this citizen journalist in prison for 50+ years, you belie your “objective” stance in the case.
Please correct the record and henceforth use the word “journalist” to describe Strickland, since that’s what he is.
Thank you for your kind attention to this important matter.
The message was, if you cover this event you’ll be hurt.
Four months before this overt threat was sent to the media by protesters, Strickland had already arrested, jailed and awaiting trial for pulling his gun to hold back-out-of-control anarchists converging on him.
But Strickland already had a healthy respect for the violent nature of some of the people.
Watch what happened to him in November of 2012 at a post-Occupy Portland event. You’ll recognize many of the same faces from Occupy and present day protests, as he noted on his news platform “Laughing at Liberals”:
Occupy Portland holds their N3 rally and march against “austerity”. At the end of the march, several protestors gather near cameraman and berate him, yell at him through a megaphone, then, finally, shove him through the circle of people who had surrounded him. This was all triggered by one of them shouting “snitches get stitches” at the cameraman.
Several of the people who took part in this escapade are regulars in other videos and media. Jesse Sponberg, Mario Javier David Haro (Mario Haro), Ibrahim Mubarak, and Richie Hernandez. Also present are International Workers of the World members and other union members.
They encircled Strickland, pushed and threatened him. Note their use of the word ‘snitch’:
And things have just gotten worse.
Last October, one of the anarchists who is a “victim” in the Strickland case, helped take over City Hall. Ben Kerensa is in the first seconds of this video. He’s the large man on the left:
Portland Police Bureau cops eventually threw out the protesters which was a rare show of force by them:
As you’ll see in the video above, a television news photographer was roughed up and two cops went down in the fray.
David Kif Davis, 44, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
Hallie Bernhof, 20, cited for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass
Carlton Smith, 43, cited for disorderly conduct
Henrick De-Savy, 21, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
James Mattox, 27, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
Frank Martinez Jr., 24, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interring with a public safety officer
Benjamin Kerensa, 32, cited for theft
In November, again after Strickland was awaiting his felony trial to start and had already been stripped of his method of making a living, the protesters showed their true colors again.
Protesters again went berserk and rioted through the streets of Portland. A protester was shot by a fellow protester.
The Oregon GOP accused City Hall of “dereliction of duty” by failing to enforce the law and, in so doing, endanger Portlanders. They demanded the resignation of outgoing mayor Charlie Hales for letting violent protesters take over the streets.
Residents took matters into their own hands. This woman, whose car was being blocked by protesters, got out and used the only weapon she had available–laundry detergent–to get a black bloc anarchist out of her way.
After protests turned violent the last several nights, including vandalism and one person getting shot, KGW is taking a new approach to covering violent protests. Our journalists and others in the media have been injured and gassed covering these protests.
We don’t want our people or anyone else to get injured in these riots. That’s why we’ve decided to cover violent confrontations from a safe distance. We will also think long and hard about what we put on air and online.
We also are committed to including you in our reporting process. How do you think we should cover protests? Does media coverage encourage violent people in the crowds? Let us know in the comments.
Portland Police confirmed the attack:
Some protesters attacked a film crew. Bottles being thrown at police. Distractionary "bang" devices being used to effect arrests.