Citizen journalist Mike Strickland has spent the last few days in jail. Why? He unholstered his legally concealed weapon at a Black Lives Matter anti-police protest and pointed it toward those whom he claims had just assaulted him and were threatening him with more violence.
Yesterday, I talked to Mike. From jail, he explained that he had been assaulted by protesters with big “flag staffs” as he called them. This is what they looked like:
And this is what they joked about doing with them. He’s simulating playing baseball — or hitting a “bigot”:
Here’s a summary of some things Strickland told me on our phone call:
There was an initial instigator of the assault on Strickland which prompted him to unholster his gun and back him off. He described a man who I believe might be this person:
If you know the identity of this large man please let me know at Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com
Strickland was covering the larger rally up the street when a small cadre of people broke off and came after him.
Strickland told me that a few minutes before he pulled his gun (he thinks 15 minutes), this man was trying to provoke him with taunts, screams in his face and calling him ‘racist,’ the usual leftist fare. Strickland kept his cool.
Strickland says he approached the man and asked to chat with him to “clear some things up” and “have a conversation with” him about why he and his friends kept calling him “racist” among other epithets.
But as he talked, the guy began to rough him up and the guys with the sticks came after him.
As Mike told it to me:
“I’m watching the guys with masks with the sticks …they’re beelining for me…and they’ve got the sticks…and yelling, ‘Get the fuck out of here!!’ They keep coming at me screaming, ‘Get the fuck out of here!!'”
You know what happened next. As we’ve explained in the previous posts below, Strickland felt in fear of great bodily injury — or worse — from these guys. And, it turns out, there’s evidence to suggest that they did it on purpose in order to provoke a response, as you’ll see.
Strickland says his back pack was full of heavy equipment and “if i turn my back on them to run, I won’t be very fast.” He was also afraid of turning his back on these people with weapons. So he backed away from the guys coming toward him. Mike Bluehair and a couple others tried to keep the provocateurs away from Strickland.
Now, let’s go back to the best example we have so far of what happened that day, Mike Bluehair’s video. Strickland’s video is still in an evidence locker at the cop shop.
This excerpt from Mike Bluehair’s video shows at least one of the guys with sticks chasing after Strickland when he pulls the gun:
Now, let’s go to something that bugged me before but didn’t have time to chase down. It’s a statement on Mike Bluehair’s video of a guy off camera saying what sounded like:
Guy Off Camera: Hey what hap, what happened?
Mike Bluehair: I’ll tell you in a minute.
Guy Off Camera: No, I was there.I was the one who originally pulled the gun.
Mike Bluehair: I’m rolling.
Guy Off Camera: OK, never mind then.
Listen for yourself:
Could there have been another gun at the scene? Maybe. The Black Panthers leading the rally before the protests intimated they had guns, remember. But, I thought that maybe there was another explanation. It was hard to hear. So, I reached out to Mike Bluehair and asked him what the guy said.
Here’s what he told me:
“Interesting, I never noticed that before until you pointed it out. I think he said, ‘I Was There! I’m the reason why He Pulled the Gun,’ is what It sounds like to me. but I’m not 100%”
I asked who said it. Here’s what he said:
“To answer your other question I dont know if it was the big guy or not. I was wrapped up in filming what was in front of me at the time. F me! I should have listened to him and asked what he meant by that! I was too focused on what the police were up to.”
And, as he said on his video, he thinks Strickland felt fear and needed to defend himself:
“FYI I believe Mike Strickland was most likely acting in self Defense. You Can Quote me on that if you wanna.”
Ok, I will. I also asked Mike Bluehair what the big guy’s name is, but he hasn’t gotten back to me with that.
Now watch the full video (see it below). As Mike Bluehair trains his camera on the cops with that odd green filter, there’s no big guy. After the guy off camera made the statement about provoking Strickland to draw his weapon, the big guy shows up in the video. The voices seem to match. You can test for yourself by watching the video.
But that’s not all we have to go on for this theory of a provoked attack.
Another citizen journalist, Dan Sandini, who has been instrumental in helping try to get Mike Strickland get out of jail, received these odd messages from a person identifying himself as “P-Town Fawkes.”
Now, the guy could just be a crack pot, granted. But check out these screen grabs which state unequivocally that the the anarchists with the sticks intended to provoke Strickland. And also note, the apparent chatroom or Facebook comments which show them laughing about succeeding in getting Strickland thrown out of the protest:
And here are the comments from the chat room or Facebook page. Note James Peach’s comments:
These message say the attack on Strickland was “orchestrated,” and in retaliation for his work at a re- Occupation. Peace says Strickland had just been “assaulted” by the anarchists who “were tasked with kicking him out.”
Strickland will be in court on Monday.
As Mike Bluehair told me,
“I hope the video leads to the truth.”
We can only hope that the DA drops these charges with prejudice in its supposed endeavor to ‘seek the truth.’