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.
See my previous posts on this case: