An Oregon man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Portland and Multnomah County after he was the one arrested when his vehicle was attacked by Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters on Halloween 2018. None of the protesters was arrested.
Mark Dickerson was trying to find a parking spot in downtown Portland. As he drove slowly along 4th Avenue, Dickerson was blocked by Black Lives Matter and Antifa members. As they parted to finally let him through, a man, who couldn’t be seen behind the group, intentionally backed into his vehicle.
Watch the video, which was posted on Dickerson’s GoFundMe page and depicted as an “insurance scam,” which it most certainly could be.
Protesters attacked his car with fists, sticks and protest signs. And, as I noted in my previous post about this case yelled hateful epithets at Dickerson:
“Yah, you little white little fucker! You’re a little whitey aren’t cha? … Just please turn right … You are a little whitey supremacist! … we don’t need your KKK … you fucking hit me right now, I’ll beat the shit out of you.
When he slowly moved forward as the protesters parted, Dickerson was obviously concerned about the protesters to his right and claims not have seen this man intentionally back into his car until he did it.
Dickerson got clear of the protesters and then stopped when he saw police coming to his aid. Or so he thought. In fact, Dickerson was the one arrested for the incident.
Earlier in October of 2018, another man was chased and his car pummeled by Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters. Portland police stood by and did nothing. It’s entirely possible Dickerson was in fear for his life when he found himself in the same predicament.
As I reported at the time, a Multnomah County judge – shockingly – tossed out the case against Dickerson when the man who intentionally walked into his truck failed to show up to court to testify against him.
It’s entirely possible that Arthuray Dudley, reportedly the brother of a man killed by Portland police who was the subject of the protest, didn’t want to set foot in a Multnomah County courtroom because he’d seen enough of them:
Arthuray, it turns out, far from being a ‘victim’ as he told KATU in his attempt to sell a ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative –
– is a longtime Portland cocaine runner. Arthuray was arrested multiple times in 2010, again in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Dickerson, whose wife claims has never had a scrape with the law, wants his life and reputation back.
Dickerson had to sell his beloved horse to help get the $10,000 to hire a defense attorney for his criminal trial.
Not being a wealthy man, he’s mounting his own legal case against both the City of Portland and Multnomah County for false arrest, civil rights violations and malicious prosecution. He’s asking for a minimum of $500,000 in damages.
It’s going to be an uphill battle. This guy needs an attorney.
The story of Ben Kerensa, the loutish and violent Antifa activist who conspired with others to attack citizen journalist Mike Strickland to violently prevent him from filming a Don’t Shoot Portland/Black Lives Matter protest in 2016, has taken yet another – ironic – turn.
You’ll recall that Strickland was attacked by ‘protesters’ who, according to court testimony, conspired to confront and attack the successful YouTuber who kept a close and skeptical eye on Portland’s protest culture.
Strickland covered Portland’s Professional Protesters, Inc.™* for years without incident. On July 7, 2016, however, activists decided Strickland needed to go. They surrounded Strickland and hit him with, among other things, Antifa flag sticks to harm and intimidate him and push him away from the protest. Kerensa led this effort.
Strickland filmed throughout the attack and afterwards. When multiple activists came back to attack him again, Strickland, a licensed conceal/carry permit holder, drew his pistol. No shots were fired and no one else, except Strickland, was hurt. Strickland, a well-trained gun owner, showed a poised discipline and never let his finger get close to the trigger. For defending himself against a band of thugs bent on stopping him from performing a First-Amendment-protected activity, Strickland was arrested, jailed and convicted for drawing his weapon. His case is on appeal.
Four months later – four months! – and mere days after the days’ longviolent anti-Trump protests seen on national news, yet another nation-wide, orchestrated ‘protest’ was planned in Portland concerning the Dakota Pipeline.
Kerensa was filming the protest that day and was told by a Portland Police sergeant that it was illegal to film a cop. That’s patently untrue and Kerensa knew it. He filed a complaint against the sergeant. Though cops are allowed to lie to the public – what, you didn’t know that? – the officer, who claimed he lied to de-escalate the protest, an understandable move after an avalanche of violent protests, was found to have to have violated the spirit of truthiness (or something) required by the Citizens Oversight Board. In January of 2018, the ironically-named Police Chief, Danielle Outlaw, ratified the findings of the Board.
Now comes December 2018 and the Portland Police Citizens Review Committee, having taken none of the violent protest history into consideration, voted to sustain Kerensa’s complaint against the sergeant. The Oregonian reported:
Committee members said they were perplexed by the captain’s reasoning for her finding, even though Sgt. Erin Smith acknowledged he misrepresented the law to get protester Benjamin Kerensa to stop videotaping him during a Nov. 30, 2016 demonstration in front of fuel storage facilities in Northwest Portland over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Kerensa, who is thought by activists to be a police ‘snitch,’ said he had every right to film the protest:
“I had the constitutional right to film the police. There’s no circumstances [sic] where an officer should be allowed to infringe on First Amendment rights.’’
It is a First Amendment protected activity to film protests, something Kerensa violently ignored only four months before.
Let’s leave the Committee’s idiocy aside for a second and go to my main point of this post. The ironic and retch-inducing cant of this thug cannot be overstated. Four months after he attacked Strickland for filming a protest and violently deprived him of his First Amendment rights, Kerensa himself was filming a protest and piously stood on the Constitution for his right to film a protest and a cop.
One got the support of Portland leadership. The other didn’t.
Strickland was jailed for defending himself against a Kerensa-led violent mob bent on beating him again. Kerensa is viewed as some sort of freedom fighter and is embraced by the ACLU (which never lifted a finger to help Strickland).
Only in Portland.
As I’ve chronicled here and will continue to do, Kerensa’s bizarre attempts to reinvent himself into a public do-gooder reveal him as a fabulist and dangerous man. Now the convicted bomb threat hoaxer, hacker, thug and police and FBI impersonator has reinvented himself into a practicing Muslim.
The case of the Portland, Oregon man, forced to pull, but not fire, his legally concealed weapon to ward off a mob of Antifa protesters, has been heard before the Oregon State Court of Appeals.
Michael Strickland’s conviction on 21 counts against him, stemming from a July 7, 2016 protest, was appealed in oral arguments Friday morning before a three judge panel of the Oregon Appeals Court.
Robert Barnes represented Strickland while Susan Howe was the attorney for the state of Oregon.
The case was heard by Douglas Tookey (appointed by Gov. Kitzhaber), Scott Shorr (appointed by Gov. Kate Brown) and Rex Armstrong (elected to six year term in 2018) in a hearing that lasted less than an hour on Friday morning.
Strickland summed up the proceedings in a news release (see below):
“We raised several assignments of error regarding the admissibility of certain evidence, denial of change venue that was based on defamatory and untrue statements made by Multnomah County deputy district attorney Kate Molina to media, the 1st Amendment restrictions that have been placed on me by the courts, and the fact that I was denied my Constitutional right to face my accusers.”
“If the courts can do this to a privileged, straight, white, male in Portland, then just imagine what they can do to an underprivileged, transgender, immigrant of color in a rural county.”
Barnes, who practices law in California and Nevada, worked with local co-counsel, and traveled to Oregon to argue the case.
Barnes agreed that Strickland is Antifa’s ‘Victim Zero’ and asserted that judges all over the country are woefully ignorant of the violence committed by this group. He said Strickland’s case has sent a message to Portland and beyond:
“[R]ight now if you’re in the black bloc what do you think? I can harass somebody and get them arrested if they try to defend themselves. And then they want people not to defend themselves so that they feel terrified, so that the feel scared, so that they feel frightened, so that their behavior can be publicly and privately coerced. And that’s the danger. And that’s why this case is bigger than one person. This battle will be just the beginning of a long extended battle. If this can happen to him here it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it means that nobody is safe. And that’s why this case is so significant.”
“This battle will be just the beginning of a long extended battle. If this can happen to him here it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it means that nobody is safe. And that’s why this case is so significant.”
Barnes told VictoriaTaft.com, and others gathered outside the court house, that it’s easy for an appeals court to simply rubber- stamp the trial verdict, but he wanted to remind the judges of a higher legal principle:
“[W]e were trying to force the issue back into the legal terrain to sort of the high plains of what the law is ‘cause that’s what protects everybody and it needs to be equally applied. And it’s forcing them to face that when they don’t always want to face that when the easy political decision for them to make is just to affirm the case and not to overturn the police; not to overturn the prosecutor; not to overturn the judge not to enhance and expand the protection of ordinary individuals against the black bloc of Portland.”
“[T]he easy political decision for them to make is just to affirm the case and not to overturn the police; not to overturn the prosecutor; not to overturn the judge not to enhance and expand the protection of ordinary individuals against the black bloc of Portland.”
After the conclusion of the hearing on third floor of the Oregon Supreme Court building, Strickland told those gathered:
“I think at its heart that it is a first amendment issue. And I hope that the judges realize that a person has a first amendment right to be a public area, filming a public event and that a mob of thugs do not have the right to use force to prevent that person from doing such and that my actions were solely in self defense on this case.”
Strickland issued a press release (below) and a YouTube video about the hearing:
Published on Oct 12, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Oregon Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this morning, October 12th, 2018, regarding the matter of State Of Oregon vs Michael Strickland, appeals case number A165019. I, Michael Strickland, am hopeful that the honorable Judges of the appeals court will recognize the dangerous case law precedent that was set in this case and that they will vacate my conviction.
We raised several assignments of error regarding the admissibility of certain evidence, denial of change venue that was based on defamatory and untrue statements made by Multnomah County deputy district attorney Kate Molina to media, the 1st Amendment restrictions that have been placed on me by the courts, and the fact that I was denied my Constitutional right to face my accusers.
If the courts can do this to a privileged, straight, white, male in Portland, then just imagine what they can do to an underprivileged, transgender, immigrant of color in a rural county.
At its heart, I believe my case is a 1st Amendment matter. As of the verdict of finding me guilty, the courts have essentially ruled that a person does not have a right to be in a public area, filming a public event, in their capacity as a professional news journalist, and that a mob of aggressive thugs have the right to use physical force and intimidation tactics to prevent a journalist from engaging in free press, and if the journalist tries to stop the thugs from assaulting and robbing them, then it’s the journalist who is guilty of crimes, while those who perpetrate and instigate violence become the victims.
This should strike fear into every journalist in the state.
Representing me on the appeal is LA-based Attorney Robert Barnes, who says “Right now if you’re in the black bloc [anarchists, antifa], what do you think? I can harass somebody and get away with it. I can harass somebody and get them arrested if they try to defend themselves. And that’s what they want. They want people to not defend themselves. And then they want people not to defend themselves so that they feel terrified, so that the feel scared, so that they feel frightened, so that their behavior can be publicly and privately coerced. And that’s the danger. And that’s why this case is bigger than one person.”
As we saw in the viral videos from last weekend, mob violence has been legalized. This is due, at least in part, to the ruling in case. Political violence is now encouraged and the mob is emboldened to attack people on the streets because they know they can legally get away with it, and anyone who opposes them or finds themselves in a position where they have to defend themselves against direct physical threats is guilty of crimes.
This puts everyone in Oregon at risk of being robbed, injured or worse. For example, a group of KKK members now have the legal right and lawfully authority to attack people of color in the street. Everyone’s rights to free press, to be safe from mob violence, and to defend one’s self are in the hands of the Honorable Judges of the Court of Appeals”
Before they chased old men in cars and canceled parades; before Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yianoppolous and Charles Murray were silenced by mob violence; before Professional Paid Protesters, Incorporated™ screamed at Senators, overturned cars or set a ‘deplorable’s’ limo on fire; there was Michael Strickland.
July 7, 2016 was just another day for the videographer who filmed Portland, Oregon’s protest scene for his YouTube channel “Laughing at Liberals.”
Unbeknownst to Strickland, his very success on YouTube and in placing his videos on national news outlets, would be kryptonite to the balaclava clad wing nuts of Antifa. As one Portland anarchist admitted to me, Antifa didn’t like how Strickland held up a mirror to the mob and made them look stupid.
A previous attempt to ruin his video by calling him epithets and getting in his face at a candlelight vigil for the Orlando shooting victims didn’t work. By July, Antifa had contrived a way to shut him up for good.
As admitted in court, Antifa and Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot Portland agitators conspired in advance to throw the journalist out of ‘their’ protest, which was being held on public property.
The mob surrounded Strickland, roughing him up, hitting him with their flag staffs (a typical weapon) and punching him as he recorded their protest.
Here’s a typical cache of weapons from Antifa ‘protests’:
A few minutes later, angry that Strickland hadn’t acceded to their violent tactics, the mob came at him again, attempting to surround him like a pack of jackals.
Strickland drew his licensed concealed handgun that Antifa knew he had (I know, I asked), a Glock semi automatic pistol. Strickland, showing amazing trigger discipline – never allowing his finger to come close to the trigger – held off his attackers as he backed away from the mob. To be clear, Strickland was the only person hurt that day. No shots were ever fired.
People stunned to hear about the old man chased down the streets of Portland by the mob were equally shocked to learn that the Portland Police Bureau stood by and did nothing. Worse, the Bureau has invited the mob to file complaints against the old man in the car. Not a typo.
Indeed, in Portland, self defense has been turned on its ear. For being targeted, beaten and forced to draw his weapon to save himself, Strickland was prosecuted. Members of the mob, which had beaten him once already and were running in to finish him off, were magically transformed into victims.
The book was thrown at Strickland. A perjurious ‘police report’ issued by one of the protest organizers and the guy who conspired to get Strickland tossed from the July protest was used by Leftist prosecutors to enhance the videographer’s bail to $250,000 – nearly that of a murderer.
Strickland’s case was heard by a Portland judge who found him guilty of all charges, which included ten felonies (for his ten ‘victims’).
People are just getting wind of Portland ‘justice’ after the car chasing caper:
Clear this up for me…
If ANTIFA stops you in your car, traps you, threatens you, beats on your car, and you feel you are in danger (because you ARE in danger)…
Do you not have the right to protect yourself? Are you supposed to sit in your car until they're finished?
In Portland, if you merely show you are armed, you will be arrested, charged with a felony, and banned from public events for "disturbing" ANTIFA with your presence. Ask Mike Strickland. https://t.co/XUO3EaQFBP
There is a reason the media celebrates ANTIFA, stays mute about the black bloc, and political patrons in Portland imprisoned ANTIFA critics rather than lefty violence. They were always heading in this direction once they lost political power: cultural blackmail & street violence. https://t.co/sAg7wfVJOA
Excuses the @ORDOJ used to justify the jailing of independent reporter, Mike Strickland: that the black bloc violent anarchist group is part of the "protest community" of Portland & that a reporter who is "polarizing" to ANTIFA-types should be banned from filming public events.
In 1992, riots broke out in what was then-known as “South Central LA” after cops were cleared in their first trial over the notorious beating of Rodney King.
Truck driver Reginald Denny made the mistake of driving his dump truck into South Central, unaware of the melee. For the ‘crime’ of being white in the predominantly black part of town, Denny’s truck was surrounded by a violent mob and he was dragged out where he was thrown to the ground and stomped, kicked and pelted with a brick thrown from point-blank range, among other atrocities. From Wikipedia:
“His skull was fractured in 91 places and pushed into his brain. His left eye was so badly dislocated that it would have fallen into his sinus cavity had the surgeons not replaced the crushed bone with a piece of plastic. A permanent crater remains in his forehead despite efforts to correct it.”
This past weekend in Portland, Antifa thugs blocked traffic and chased cars in protest of a police shooting.
In the shooting incident, police say the suspect drew his weapon. That data point did nothing to mollify the rioters because, in their world view, cops should not have guns. Scratch that. There should be no cops.
As I’ve chronicled on this website since 2005, Portland’s Professional Protesters, Incorporated™* have been allowed by City Hall to take over the streets, shut down highways, and commit acts of violence with near-impunity.
People have been angry for years and have done their small part to fight back. This lady was so upset that she got out of her car and grabbed the only ‘weapon’ she had, Tide detergent. It was posted on Twitter:
City Hall has ignored the complaints about protesters citing Oregon’s liberal free speech laws, where live sex acts are considered political speech. That’s not a typo.
Worse, they indulge these human detritus and punish the people who dare defend themselves.
Readers of this website are familiar with the case of videographer Mike Strickland, who, after the mob had attacked him once, came back to finish him off as he recorded a 2016 protest. Strickland drew his legally concealed pistol and backed off the mob – never once putting his finger close to the trigger. He was prosecuted and put in jail for defending himself. Also not a typo.
For some reason, however, this past weekend’s episode of chasing cars, mob-takeovers, taunts, assaults and threats went viral and I think I know why.
Antifa and its allies, including Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot Portland, chased a white haired, older man down the street of downtown Portland, close to City Hall, and when he foolishly got out of his car to protest, we all thought, my God, it’s going to be another Reginald Denny.
PJ Media transcribed (thank you for saving me time) the epithets hurled at the man:
“Just go that way,” a female agitator barks at a driver in the first video. When he asks why, she fires back, “Because I told you to!”
“Yeah, you little white little f**ker!” a belligerent compatriot, who is white himself, hollers. “You’re a f*cking whitey aren’t ya?!” he taunts. “Get the f*ck down the road!” The woman insists that the motorist, who was visiting from North Carolina, go the way she’s directing him. She explains to him impatiently that he’s blocking traffic (even though the protesters, of course, were the ones blocking traffic).
Noticing the man’s North Carolina license plate, the foul-mouthed protester calls him a white supremacist.
“Go back to North Carolina where you came from. We don’t need your KKK in Portland, Oregon!” the man shouts.
While the flustered motorist speaks with someone on the phone about his awkward predicament, the camera pans on a police officer standing nearby doing absolutely nothing, probably on orders from the liberal mayor’s office.
One of the Black Lives Matter protesters repeatedly threatens motorists with physical violence, shouting at a pick-up truck driver: “You’re lucky you didn’t hit me — I’d have beat your ass!”
Last weekend’s street take-over might have been the last straw for even liberals in the People’s Republic of Portland. Finally, their discontent found voice on the pages of the local alt weekly.
Willamette Week reported that Portlanders have had it up to here with lawlessness on their streets and may jump political parties to send a message.
Over the past month, WW has spoken to Democratic voters who say they are abandoning [Governor Kate] Brown. During those conversations, three themes emerge repeatedly: Oregon’s frayed social safety net, a sense of lawlessness on the streets, and a failed educational system.
As the mob took over the streets, scaring the hell out of law abiding people, where were the cops?
Perhaps after this wake up call, Portland’s City ‘leaders’ will let the cops enforce the law and that “sense of lawlessness,” which is, in fact, real lawlessness, ends.
*Portland’s Professional Protesters, Incorporated™(sarc)
On July 7, 2016, Mike Strickland, known as “Laughing at Liberals” on YouTube, was attacked by Antifa/Black Bloc anarchist/Black Lives Matter protesters at an event which billed itself as “Don’t Shoot Portland.”
In the run-up to the march and anti-gun protest, self described Black Panther organizers, including Jeelani Mutulu Haru Shareef, urged protesters to carry guns, “run up” on cops and use guns to take out cops who might hurt protesters.
PCC women’s basketball coach John Slaughter, one of the organizers of the ironically named “Don’t Shoot” event, was also one the men conducting the pre-march instructions before the march and rally.
Holding his toddler, Slaughter urged the crowd to get out of the way if they couldn’t hurt cops and let others do it for them. He yelled so fiercely to the gathered (mostly white) crowd that his toddler started crying.
Other thugs used their black bloc flag staffs to hit Strickland. Kerensa admitted later in court that he struck Strickland.
He’s never been brought up on assault charges.
When the same group tried to run Strickland out of the protest by coming at him again, he asked the crowd to stay back, as he backed away.
As they continued advancing, Strickland grabbed his licensed Glock pistol and ordered them to stay away from him as he continued to back away from the crowd. His finger was never on the trigger.
Shareef also menaced Strickland as he backed away from his attackers and followed him along a downtown Portland street.
But it was Strickland who was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors, ticketed, and told to show up the next day in court.
The next day, the prosecutor Katharine “Kate” Molina, presented hearsay testimony and lies to increase Strickland’s charges and his bail.
As Strickland points out in his video below, Molina used a false police report to tie him to alleged threats suffered by protester none other than John Slaughter at an event the month before.
Here is what she represented to a judge:
“I’ve had a chance to review other reports, um, one specifically addressing addressing an incident on June 12th of this year, uh, where, uh attendees were going to a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims of the Orlando, um, nightclub shooting, and that Mr. Strickland was present and was, um, disrupting the vigil by taking videotape of the protest..er excuse me, the attendees who were there.
Um, when one of the attendees, um, asked Mr. Strickland um, to leave, um, there was, um, some sort of exchange, I believe, and, within a day or so, that attendee started receiving numerous phone calls and text messages on a daily basis that were of a threatening and on a race based nature, um, and based on that attendees information about Mr. Strickland, whom he believes identifies himself as a white nationalist-anarchist, um, believed that Mr. Strickland was behind and orchestrating those threatening text messages and phone calls.
So based on that prior conduct that the state is aware of, um, based on reports reviewed, as well as the nature of the current offense, um, given the reason for the protest last night, the state has serious concerns about, um, Mr. Strickland, um being out in the community without supervision at this time. So the state is asking that he be taken back into custody and that bail be increased to $250,000. I’m also asking for a release decision (?) [unintelligible] evaluation only under the condition of no weapon, no ammunition and strict compliance.”
Look at Molina’s statement that I transcribed from Strickland’s video (see it below). Note the information she presents to the judge as true and consider the language she used as her “evidence”:
“that attendee started receiving numerous phone calls and text messages on a daily basis … were of a threatening and … race based nature,”
The “attendee,” Slaughter, began getting calls and texts. That’s because the “attendee” insisted Strickland use his phone number in his video. In a video showing Slaughter approving of the violent anti-police rhetoric and pro gun speech at the anti gun event a month earlier, he also offered to give protesters his phone number. Apparently, this is part of his schtick.
Strickland displayed the number in the Orlando vigil video.
I don’t think Strickland should have included Slaughter’s phone number in the video, but that’s really not the point here.
The salient points are:
Were there any calls?
Who called him?
Where’s the call log of who called him?
Where is the evidence of those voice mails and or text messages which “were frequent”and allegedly racist?
Where’s the evidence that Strickland “orchestrated them”?
Where’s the evidence of any “threats” received whatsoever?
Nowhere, that’s where.
Surely, a deputy DA testifying before a judge should weigh actual evidence before depriving a person of their liberty. But that didn’t happen here.
Slaughter held himself out as a leader of Black Lives Matter and Don’t Shoot Portland. Surely, he’d be savvy enough to save ‘evidence’ of someone sending racist and threatening messages. Call logs on cell phones and network phone systems at a government agency such as PCC would certainly retain information. It had only been one month since this supposedly horrible thing had happened to Slaughter by a man “whom he believes identifies himself is a white nationalist anarchist.”
Well, if you’re a professional BLM and anti gun protester such as John Slaughter, this should be public relations GOLD!
You’re the leader of your group and your allies are Black Panthers (black nationalists) AND YOU’VE FOUND A REAL LIVE WHITE NATIONALIST!! Send out the press release!
But he didn’t, of course, because he knew Strickland wasn’t a racist.
Worse, she assumed his assumptions that Strickland “identifies himself as a white nationalist anarchist” were true. Is “whom he believes identifies himself” the standard of proof now?
And what the heck is a “white nationalist anarchist” anyway? Let’s ask John Slaughter. He apparently is the only one who does.
What he did do was file a phony police report that Strickland never heard about until Molina used it to increase the charges and the bail.
In short, a prosecutor’s reckless assumption based on phony and outrageous assumptions by Slaughter meant 21 charges and a $250,000 fine and thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees for Mike Strickland.
As for the “white nationalist” clap trap, as we’ve seen over and over and over again during the Antifa, black bloc anarchist, professional protester events, if you disagree with them you’re automatically labeled a racist. Antifa must debase their opponents and ascribe every sordid misdeed to them in order to puff themselves up to signal to others that their anti free speech violence is somehow ‘noble.’
Worse, he could have been sent to prison for 50 years on all the felony charges. As it was, he was deprived of his liberty for 40 days. It’s an outrage.
As Strickland points out in his video, he lost his liberty over a false police report. If it can happen to him it can happen to you.
Mike Strickland has called on the Oregon Appeals Court to set aside his conviction for unholstering pistol to defend himself after being attacked, menaced and chased by masked and armed Antifa protesters in July of 2016.
The incident happened at a “Don’t Shoot Portland”/”Black Lives Matter” event when a group of anarchist/masked Antifa broke off from the main protest group to stop Strickland from filming the event. Just moments before, some of the same people attacked Strickland with their Antifa flag poles and fists.
Strickland feared for his life with the 300 pound Kerensa bearing down on him and others rushing the videographer.
Strickland is a working journalist who covered these events for his own news site on YouTube as well as for other national news sites.
Strickland was found guilty of ten counts of unlawful use of a weapon, ten counts of menacing, and one count of disorderly conduct in the second degree. He could have gone to prison for decades for the offenses. At sentencing, he was ordered to serve 40 days in jail.
The appeal was filed by Robert Barnes of Los Angeles and Mark Geiger of Salem.
In the discussion of the case, Barnes said that Strickland’s case was a study in ambush:
“Attack by ambush followed by trial by ambush followed by verdict by ambush.”
Among the issues that the attorneys claimed were wrongly decided were:
The trial court committed reversible error when it denied Defendant’s motion for a change of venue.
Local media about the case described Strickland in prejudicial terms which would have tainted a jury pool:
Within the articles, misinformation concerning Defendant was widespread and included falsely alleging Defendant was a “white nationalist anarchist”; falsely stating that Defendant was at the protest to instigate others; falsely describing Defendant as a “counter protestor”, “right-wing troll”, and “crazy guy”; and falsely claiming Defendant came to the protest “prepared for battle” and “nearly shot [the protestors].”
Barnes argues that the local prosecutor and police chief clearly tried to prejudice media coverage against Strickland:
At arraignment, State Attorney Katharine Molina told the press that Defendant had a past police report involving a situation wherein an attendee of a vigil for the Orlando nightclub shooting was sent harassing text messages of a race based nature after asking Defendant to leave the vigil. (ER 45) The State pushed this story to the press despite there being no proof that Defendant had anything to do with it. (ER 45) The State essentially accused Defendant of being a racist to the press, in a time where racial issues are at the forefront of American politics, despite no proof existing for the claim. (ER 45) Also, Portland Chief of Police Mike Marshman, in a memo sent to the Portland Police Bureau that was later spread by the press, described Defendant as someone who “menaced other protestors” and claimed that as a result the protest “could have turned deadly.” (ER 135.)
Those statements were not only unfair, they were untrue.
Barnes further argued that the unprovoked beating by an anti gun filmmaker, which severely broke Strickland’s arm, requiring surgery, should have been allowed into evidence to help establish his state of mind at the time of the attack at the Don’t Shoot Portland event.
The trial court committed reversible error when it granted the State’s motion to exclude evidence of an unrelated prior altercation.
A surprise use-of-force witness brought in at the 11th hour, giving defense attorneys only a few hours’ notice was prejudicial and reversible error by Judge Thomas Ryan:
The trial court committed reversible error when it allowed the prosecution to put forward a surprise rebuttal witness because the State had not properly notified the defense of said witness.
The defense attorney took issue with the way in which the ‘victims’ were labeled by local prosecutors, giving Strickland no way to object:
It also offered vague descriptions of the alleged victims, rather than naming them. The court denied the demurrer, holding that the prosecution can charge in the alternative. The trial court committed reversible error when it denied Defendant’s demurrer, although the indictment charged more than one defense not separately stated and it was not definite or certain.
Strickland’s appeals attorney took issue with the Judge’s order not allowing him to use a camera, video equipment – in other words, the tools of his trade – while under parole and probation:
In addition to the myriad of prejudicial decisions against Defendant, the trial court committed an error when it violated Defendant’s constitutional rights guaranteed by the first amendment.
The 456 page document, complete with multiple pages of exhibits and testimony, was filed in court on December 12th.
There has always been closely guarded and understandable resistance on the part of law enforcement to opening our profession to the public eye. It’s been a long standing tenet that what we do in public should be held close to the profession. The thought is that what the public wants to know should be filtered through a ìneed to know” screen.
We used to believe that law enforcement was only really understood by us cops. We believed we were the final arbiters and interpreters of events, especially those of great public interest or controversy.
That public policy is still the modus operandi. Unfortunately, it’s a presumption that prosecutors and the courts–the other major components of the criminal justice system– share and support. It’s outdated.
There was a time when the criminal justice system called the shots from crime to conviction–the where and when the flow of information to the public was controlled and calculated. The story was told and interpreted through the words and action of a system with a vested interest in protecting an image, and in fairness a concern for public servants. That doesn’t mean there was an unjust intent. It’s
just the way it was.
But now, the playing field, the equipment and the rules have all changed. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the police’s badly out-positioned playbook. And it’s the
police and their relationships in individual communities which now finds the profession mired in a lack public confidence and trust.
Social Media Fallout
The unrelenting onslaught of the use of social media and a profession poorly-prepared to deal with its result will continue to erode both confidence and trust in the cops.
Now, the story of the street isn’t told first by those who are quick on the draw with guns, but with the adept use of online audio and video. The story may or may not give an accurate picture as events unfold, but without argument, that becomes the ‘truth’ until it’s undone later by the facts of the event. In the meantime, and in real time, the damage is done and the ‘truth’ as told in the moment is embedded in the public eye and public consciousness. It’s not fair. Rarely is.
Police administrations across this country and political ‘leadership’ get blamed for the imagined offenses.
The criminal justice system is then ordered to ‘fix it.’
It’s time for the street cops to get back their reputations. To do that, they should just let the cameras roll. Real time. Real story. Let ’em go.
Police body cameras are only a half a decade from becoming a legislated mandate in many states in the country. It’s futile for police to believe that the outcry
for that technology as a tool in their everyday lives will somehow be a passing fad. Flatly, that will not happen.
The ubiquitous nature of street cop cams will eventually result in judges requiring them for evidence.
Excuses like bad batteries and poor lighting and ìI forgot to turn it onî will either become cause for unfavorable jury instructions, or prosecutors will be told by courts to dismiss the case for the lack of best evidence.
Go Live 24-7
But that is not enough. It’s time for a police departments with enlightened management, and a high degree of faith in the accountability of their supervisory structure, to take body cameras live and unedited to the street.
From roll call to end-of-shift letís go live everyday. Every moment. Every stop. Every call for help. Letís go tell our story in real time, streaming information to the public who wants us to be right and to support us.
Thatís right, a reality show like none other. It’s what the public pays for and it is what they admire about what we do. It’s also what they criticize but still support.
And here’s why. Prosecutors, defense counsel and courts would be in hysterics over such a proposal.
The idea that the cops would move to a live streaming relationship with the community as they deal with matters yet to be adjudicated and without the ìguiding touchî of the rest of the system is, well, to say the least, heresy.
It removes the blindfold from the figure holding the scales of justice and how can that possibly work?
But riddle me this. When the streets are burning in North Carolina,or Baton Rouge or Baltimore and the cops are taking incoming spit,rocks and bottles. When they’re being cursed in New York or assassinated in Dallas… where is the rest of the criminal justice system to support their image and protecting their lives and careers?
This will be a painful move for the police. In moving forward this way by informing the public in real time, there will be some individual casualties. What makes it worth the switch is that the public will learn truthful and timely information about the true value of quality policing.
And, can you imagine getting to watch on YouTube,Twitter, etc., the daily humdrum live-stream of one police officer helping a kid with a flat tire on a bike a ride home or giving a jump for someone with a dead battery? Soon, reality police shows would be old news.
But there’s a more important reason to bring policing live to social media. It will force the profession to fast-forward on the policy changes it needs to make to better hire, train,and hold accountable a new generation of police officers,deputies, and troopers.
This coming generation is well equipped and internally hardwired todeal with the realities of modern technology and the instant-information age that cops operate in every day.
Right now, this next generation of our protectors is at a great disadvantage. They’re just waiting for a better grade of police administrations and political leaders to give them the tools they need to win the image battle.
Let’s just cut to the chase and go live, 24-7, and let the average American see what the average cop sees live and in real time.
Bernie Giusto is a former Lieutenant and Public Information Officer for the Oregon State Police, Chief of the Gresham Oregon Police Department and Multnomah County Sheriff.
It is unfortunate that death on our streets has become the catalyst for our “angry” national conversation about the value of life in American communities. For any future policy changes addressing street violence, there’s always the tired and out-of-touch political non-leadership resigned to the misinformed position that by “fixing the police” the problem will be fixed.
No other shallow posturing could be less accurate, carelessly shortsighted, or a more harmful to the desperate need for a meaningful overhaul of the criminal justice system. Political pandering about ‘reform’ is nothing more than dangerous inaction. This inaction continues to threaten the safety of everyday-life in American communities in the short term, and erodes public trust in the long term.
The criminal justice “system” that impacts equity and fairness is a system, less dependent on the actions of ethical cops on the street, than on outdated public safety policies and ‘broken-record’ political practices.
Think of it as a pyramidal maze where the marble gets dropped into the top and then through a series of twist and turns comes to the end and drops out of the bottom. The sound of the police making an lawful arrest places a person at the top of the pyramid. From there the roll through to bottom is the remainder of the criminal system.
The undeniable truth, however, is that the perception is cops control the system. As if the entire system falls to the police who have little control of the maze. The police unquestionably are the most visible part of the system. Yet, they often lose all influence after that life is subject to individual state and federal bail requirements, criminal charging practices, and court determined release decisions. Sworn to protect and serve goes only so far. Yes, policing in many communities in this country is in crisis of confidence. The most dangerous part for all, however, is when police lack community confidence and fear the loss of public trust. Without both there is a great risk to act not fairly and ethically at all.
Improvement is needed:
Yes, there needs to be a clear and renewed focus on accountability on a number of levels within police agencies and is an urgent priority.
Yes, policing leadership and the quality of many police administrations desperately require a complete overhaul
Yes, the failure of police agencies should be understood to be a clear failure of the unintelligent political leadership. The real failure to Black Lives Matter and all lives begins long before a police contact drops that life into the maze of the criminal justice system.
Sadly and unfairly, any resulting anger gets targeted directly at the police.
Really, the fix is in often before the police come into the picture. They’re the first decision-maker by virtue of the arrest, but have so little effect on the final disposition of a case. They’re left out on a the limb by themselves to absorb the anger of a system (that works better when you have money than when you don’t).
We need to completely overhaul the bail system in this country. States need to legislate new bail laws that focus equal access to justice. The net effect now is that a poor person is in jail longer than a rich one because they can’t make bail.
Here’s what that might look like. Crimes-against-persons wouldn’t qualify for no-bail, but property crimes without a criminal history might. Drug crimes for possession and low level sales would be a ‘yes’ for no bail.
We should also do away with certain charging enhancements, such as higher penalties for most drug sales within 1000 ft of a school as the sole reason for enhanced bail.
We might agree crimes need to be referred to the criminal justice system. But the system doesn’t guarantee justice will be better served when those arrested remain in jail only because they don’t have a bank account that matches.
Yes, our poor excuse for political leaders need to shoulder their share of the responsibility for not only Black Lives but for all economically underprivileged lives.
Yes, we need to recognize that there will be no end to the guaranteed downward spiral of ‘stay in jail, lose my job, lose my car, lose my family and lose my hope for justice’ in a system that is perceived to be stacked against them.
Anger boils over at police because access to equal justice and a return to a productive life depends on the size of a law breaker’s bank account. Does that excuse the individual responsibility to respect the rule of law? Of course not. However, that is not the argument here. The point is, that the rule of law is not only about being arrested, it is about equal access to it.
If we have devolved to a discussion of “Cops” versus “Color”, don’t blame the cops and dont’t blame our communities of color. The fault, and there is fault, falls squarely on those who should be smart enough and committed enough to demonstrate Black Lives Matter long before the two find themselves again with deadly irreconcilable differences –differences not always of their own making.
Since the Black Lives Matter protest in which citizen journalist Mike Strickland drew a pistol on protesters “bee lining” for him, the Portland media has done everything it can to depict him as something he’s not.
Strickland was freed on $250,000 bail one day before a bail review hearing last week.
Willamette Week insists on called him a “counter protester.” The respected weekly rag has made up this characterization out of whole cloth. On what is this based, exactly? No idea.
Strickland has been on the scene for years now as a citizen journalist. He will goad people into giving him a comment, but that doesn’t make him anymore a “counter protester” than George Stephanopolous is when he goads politicos with whom he disagrees to answer questions.
Worse, both local alternative papers, WW and “The Portland Mercury” have depicted Strickland — a legal gun owner — as some sort of nut because he drew his weapon in self defense.
Lefty videographer Mike Bluehair notes that the alternative media are trying to force this narrative with their own news boxes. He sent this video to me last week to make the point:
The Oregonian tried to make an issue out of Strickland carrying ammo for his pistol:
What, exactly, is the correct amount of ammo to carry, Oregonian? One magazine, two, six? And, as long as we’re on that, please define “extended clip” and prove Strickland had one.
“Strickland had an extended clip in what appeared to be a Glock 26 that he swept at chest level multiple times in front of protesters and a plain-clothed Portland police officer, the prosecutor said.”
Where is the “extended clip”? The world awaits your answer, media.
Of course, the mainstream news outlets find the delicious irony in a person pulling a gun at the BLM protest, locally called “Don’t Shoot PDX.”
I’ll tell you what irony is. Irony is at a so-called ‘peaceful’ protest the New Black Panthers held a pre-rally pep talk calling for violence:
I’ll tell you what irony is. Irony is that at a supposedly ‘peaceful’ protest, protesters intentionally assaulted Strickland. Where’s that cutline in the media coverage?
The media swallowed whole the story from a protester who said Strickland tried to “incite or instigate others” at the protest he was covering — when it was they who assaulted Strickland, frightening him so much that he was compelled to pull his pistol in self defense. Now, that’s irony.
The media certainly have their preconceived — and wrong — narrative that they’re wedded to. The real question is, when confronted over and over with the truth of this case, will they bother to inform the public or will they stick with their false narrative?
If what happened to citizen journalist Mike Strickland last Thursday on the streets of Portland, Oregon looked familiar it’s because it’s happened to other reporters.
Strickland, whose YouTube nom de guèrre is “Laughing at Liberals,” was filming a Black Lives Matter protest last Thursday in downtown Portland. Protesters included anarchists, Occupy acolytes, Black Lives Matter activists and — now we know — self described Black Panthers who called for violence at the protest. The crowd surrounded the 36-year-old videographer as he tried to cover the event.
There are some who believe he shouldn’t have pulled his pistol, but as you can see from the video nearby, he was deeply fearful of the crowd. And, in one of my previous posts, I talked with four police officers of various ranks, three of whom who said what he did was legal and the other said it was arguably legal.
Strickland sits in Multnomah County jail on $250,000.00 bail because when he arrived at his first hearing, the DA increased the charges and bail. He’ll be in court again July 18th.
The District Attorney’s office appears to have sided with the thugs instead of a citizen journalist who was in fear for his life.
The DA’s overcharging and outsized bail puts all journalists and protesters on notice: Some people are more equal than others.
Yesterday, I demonstrated conclusively that Oregon-based citizen journalist Mike Strickland had a defensible reason for drawing his weapon at advancing anarchists and Black Lives Matter protesters that surrounded him on the street during a protest. The incident, which subsequently videotaped an assault against Strickland, occurred near the federal and county courthouses in downtown Portland.
Strickland now sits in a Multnomah County Sheriff’s jail cell on a felony charge. His bail has been set at $250,000.00. To say that’s excessive for one with no police record is an understatement. Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation calls him a “political prisoner.”
But, now, thanks to video posted by a Twitter user who goes by the name “Prison Planet,” we know that protesters were amped up in advance with a pep talk at Pioneer Courthouse Square by non other than self described “Black Panthers.”
As we’ve since learned, the Dallas shooter responsible for shooting 11 people, killing five white police officers last week, was an erstwhile member of the Houston New Black Panther Party, an organization which has called for violence against the police, among other things.
Here’s the “pep talk” these New Black Panther Party members gave to the Portland Professional Protester crowd. H/T to John Trudel for tipping me off to this video:
The self described Panther admonished the crowd that if things got violent,
“You pull your pistol out and bust it.”
He referred to others as “the enemy.”
There was the wind-up. Now for the delivery:
“When we move with the Panthers, trust when you see me move, I’m moving in violence!”
“We’re tired of asking y’all to help us! We need action! We need to fucking take action.”
“I don’t give a fuck if you fucking knock them over. You run up on ’em, whatever! Whatever you do, you’d better fucking take action!”
Now, as discussed yesterday in the break down of the video tape, after pulling his weapon, the mob was held back. But then a breakaway group followed Strickland as he fearfully backed up the street. He kept telling them, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving!” The photographer told the crowd to leave him alone.
Look who the leader is: Sideways hat. He follows Strickland up the street:
While everyone else has been implored to leave Strickland alone, sideways hat comes at him, sometimes seemingly to be a calming force, but definitely there to intimidate.
Sideways hat makes up the distance with gray hoodie guy who assaults Strickland:
Here he is again. First, at Pioneer Courthouse Square holding his hat:
And later walking toward Strickland wearing his hat:
Did Mike Strickland see the pre rally pep talk by the New Black Panthers? Probably. This was a dangerous crowd. Strickland was smart to carry his pistol.