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 Unde
rhill 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.
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.
Mike Strickland will go on trial on Monday in a Portland, Oregon courtroom for pulling a gun in self defense as a group of anarchists converged upon him while he covered a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX protest on July 7th.
The prosecution has relied upon the testimony of some of the very same people who were converging on Strickland to come up with its 21 count indictment against the journalist.
The prosecution has relied upon hearsay testimony of at least one of their members that somehow Strickland was a “white nationalist.” This was used to keep him in jail longer after his arrest and raise his bail.
The allegation appears to come from Strickland’s coverage of the Portland Community College “Whiteness Conference” which made national news, thanks to the Portland journalist.
During my interviews with several anarchists over the past few months (interviews which will be rolled out later) it came down to this school yard complaint that they didn’t like the way “Laughing at Liberals” held up the mirror and made them look stupid.
It’s just that simple.
When given a chance by the DA to get back at Strickland they seized upon it. And the DA listened.
This is justice? Hearsay complaints about a guy who hurt your feelings? Converging on the guy who hurt your feelings? And then lying to put him in jail?
I spoke to Penny Okamoto of Ceasefire Oregon, an anti-gun rights group which Strickland covered often. Strickland’s arrest confirmed her fears. She told me she thought he was somehow dangerous but couldn’t tell me why. She complained about how he covered her events, how he sometimes mocked her group, but could not name one time in which Strickland was dangerous.
She has the ear of the DA.
As one professional protester told me, anarchists conspired to ‘get’ Strickland last July 7th:
“There were a bunch of people from Anonymous that walked around and who said they were going up ‘contact’ him walked and all of a sudden I seen him come out of the protest with a group of people behind him. There was yelling back and forth.
Basically [Strickland] was yelling, ‘Stay away from me, stay away from me!’
I believe there were threats toward him.
He’s someone that a lot of activists don’t like.”
I asked why they didn’t like him:
“It goes all the way back to Occupy. He’ll talk about and make fun of protests like that. That’s what people talk about with him. They say he’s an agitator. That if there’s a protest then he’ll find something to make fun of.”
Ben Kerensa came after ‘Occupy.’ So what was his beef with Strickland?
This video was produced after 340,000 plus people looked at another of Strickland’s posts:
They saw Kerensa in the background and couldn’t help note the obvious, that it isn’t necessary for Kerensa to cover his face as an anarchist because he’s the only one who looks like that at Portland protests:
When I talked to the anarchists for an upcoming series of reports, they said it was this video that got Kerensa riled up.
For the record, they thought it was funny.
Is it nice? No. Is it a reason to beat someone up? No. Is it illegal? No.
The night Strickland pulled his gun, Kerensa boasted that he made him to do it.
And Monday, Strickland goes on trial for his freedom–all because of the hurt feelings of some Portland protesters.
Next: Who are Strickland’s other accusers and how Portlanders are getting tired of these protesters.
In October of 2003, then 19-year-old Benjamin Kerensa was an angry man. Nothing much has changed between then and now.
The 11th grade drop out was proficient at coding and had appeared to have become beguiled by the computer and online culture of Silicon Valley.
When he came to his volunteer job for a San Francisco mayoral candidate Jim Reid, co-workers remembered that he spent time on the computer and eating the food donated to the campaign.
Kerensa told the candidate he was homeless and appreciated the his stance on the prolific homelessness issues that continue to confront San Francisco. He was said to be an “enthusiastic” volunteer and kept the office open “day and night.”
But his online life wasn’t so sanguine. When Kerensa was given only limited credentials to attend the prestigious Oracle World computer confab in San Francisco, the 19-year-old apparently thought, ‘Well, if I can’t go, they can’t go.’
He called in a bomb threat to the Moscone Convention Center. The entire place, including the thousands assembled for Oracle World as well as other conventioneers, were evacuated.
And it wasn’t a one-off. While San Francisco Police told me the reports from the incident were difficult to get their hands on, an article on the bomb threat at the time made clear that Kerensa was a pro at this.
Kerensa made threats to his former employer, the AMC 1000 Theater, the Moscone Center, a building at the UN Plaza, a federal building and the Navy vessel, the USS Cleveland. And he did it all from the mayoral candidate’s office:
The threats were lodged in computer messages to the FBI and the Police Department on an electronic network run by MCI that is designed to help hearing-impaired people make telephone calls over the computer via the Internet. Authorities said they were hindered in their investigation by the confidentiality that had been afforded to users of the system. Managers of the service, IP-Relay.com, did not return calls seeking comment.
The threats began with a series of telephonic messages against the AMC 1000 Theater on Aug. 27, prompting the evacuation of 1,000 moviegoers.
New threats were made to the theater Aug. 30, two days after a pair of pipe bombs exploded at Chiron Corp.’s Emeryville headquarters. The threats said a bomb would go off “just like the Emeryville explosion,” authorities said.
Kerensa went to federal prison in Lompoc for several years for the threats:
“Strickland drew his legally obtained and licensed concealed Glock pistol, never placing his finger on the trigger, but drew down on the people advancing toward him, stopping what he believed was going to be an attack. He withdrew, walking backwards away from the threat and holstered his weapon when he believed the immediate threat was over.
Since then, the Portland area journalist has been jailed, his tools of his trade–cameras, recording equipment and his own recordings, which are exculpatory evidence in his case, have been confiscated–and Strickland has been ordered to stop working in journalism, thus depriving him of his ability to make a living.
This heavy-handed attack on the rights on one man has been done by the Multnomah County District Attorney and is due to what some involved in the case believe is a political agenda.
Absurdly, the case is also based on the testimony by some of the very people who were rushing to attack Strickland.”
And now Kerensa and some of the very same bad actors who had roughed up Strickland before and were coming back for more are depicted by the Multnomah County DA’s Office as ‘victims.’
But, the prosecution’s faith in Kerensa to tell the truth is belied by his criminal past and the fact that he has a personal grudge against Strickland. More on that next time.
Mike Strickland will be in Multnomah County court today as the judge hears motions for his case.
A perfunctory and necessary rite, both sides will get an idea of where the other side is going strategically, if they didn’t already know from discovery in the felony gun use case.
Strickland was arrested and charged with 21 counts of menacing and unlawful use of a firearm for drawing his hand gun in self defense during the July 7, 2016 Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot Portland protest.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office clearly has decided to use Strickland’s case as a precedent to draw the line at when legal concealed handgun permit holders may draw a weapon in Multnomah County. A lot rides on this case, which is why prosecutors haven’t dropped it, even though Strickland’s case of self defense is stronger on the merits.
Through research and interviews, including trying to talk to the deputy district attorney involved in the case, and talking to eyewitnesses and anarchists, the consensus is, this case is politically motivated.
In fact, it’s an outcome in search of a case.
Which brings us to the number one “victim” in the case.
It was last July 7th. Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Portland for a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally, march and protest. Those gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square received a pep talk from self described black panther members on doing violence (which I’ve elaborated on before and have received more information on which I’ll outline in a future post) and proceeded to march toward the rally spot.
As protesters listened to speeches on the steps of a nearby building, a smaller group of anarchists saw Strickland recording the event. Strickland covers these events as a journalist for his own social media outlets, one of which is entitled, “Laughing at Liberals” and for a popular news website.
The men made a decision to “go get” Strickland.
The reason why will be dealt with in a future post.
During the protest, a contingent of anarchists snaked around the crowd and rushed Strickland from at least two sides. The moment is captured on video which I’ve chronicled in my previous posts. And since those posts were published, more video evidence has been obtained.
The first victim mentioned in the complaint against Strickland describes “male wearing a blue hooded top, dark pants and a black messenger bag” who was “in fear of imminent serious injury…”
The “victim” is this man:
The man whom the DA claimed to be “in fear of imminent serious injury…” was one of the anarchists encircling Strickland. He’s the heavy-set man coming at Strickland on his left flank. He stopped only because Strickland drew his weapon.
Why would Strickland ‘go to guns’ at this point? Because he’d already been roughed up by some of the same people in the crowd.
Here’s a photo of this “victim” from a previous protest.
Police officers who have seen this tape have previously stated on this website that Strickland broke no laws. At the point they saw this full video, they didn’t know that the anarchists had previously roughed up and threatened Strickland. Knowing that, it seems that Strickland had an even greater reason to pull his gun in self defense.
The DA terms this man a “victim” when he certainly appears to have helped provoke the act of self defense. Furthermore, this “victim” possesses a long and ignominious rap sheet which includes a major federal bomb threat case and other very, ah, interesting crimes. Indeed, the DA is using a very shady character to buttress their rickety case against Mike Strickland.
I look forward to the cross examination of this man by the defense.
My next post will outline who he is at length and his rap sheet.
A lefty Portland videographer, who goes by the nom de guerre “Mike Bluehair,” has told police for the second time that reporter Mike Strickland pulled a gun on protesters in self-defense. Bluehair told a detective at the scene the night of the incident at the Black Lives Matter protest that Strickland drew his weapon in self defense and reiterated the same in a follow up phone interview. Bluehair recorded the conversation which is below.
Bluehair has taken the most compelling video seen so far of the moments during and right after the Portland reporter drew a weapon and pointed it toward protesters converging on him. Strickland’s own video, which he says exonerates him, has been seen neither by the public, nor at this writing that we’re aware, by district attorney investigators. Strickland has been in jail since July 8th and will be in court tomorrow to answer to two felonies and two misdemeanors relating to unholstering his weapon at the protest.
The charges, which were increased at his first hearing, are being seen more and more as being transparently politically motivated by anti second amendment Multnomah County prosecutors.
In one exchange, Bluehair even drew a picture for Officer Sarah Taylor on why Strickland drew his weapon:
Officer Sarah Taylor: You don’t get the sense that he was out of control.
Mike Bluehair: No, he was being very measured. … If you look at my video off to the left, you can clearly see a guy, seconds before he pulls a gun out –rather large black gentleman — drop a back pack and move in towards him quickly.”
And, as I’ve reported previously, black bloc protesters also came at Strickland with their flagstaffs.
Here’s one guy showing how they’re used:
Mike Bluehair also told Officer Taylor that others in the crowd felt Strickland was in danger too:
“Some of the people who helped Strickland feel safe, believe it or not, were anarchists. I have a friend that was in black bloc attire that was there that turned around and helped me keep the crowd from Strickland.
Like I said, I think he [Strickland] was feeling the need for self-protection, but I didn’t see what happened leading up to that. There will be testifying that I know about the situation.
I think he was being very measured and controlled in his movements. He put the thing in his retention holster, or whatever, when he felt that there was no danger.”
Strickland also believes that Mike Bluehair was trying to warn him before the incident happened. I asked Mike Bluehair about that. Here’s what he said:
“I told him something to the effect of watch his ass or some such. I don’t remember the exact words I used. That said, I’m pretty sure his camera was rolling When I said that. People in that crowd looked more Agro than usual.Thanx Victoria for covering mikes story. I wish people would get to through their thick skulls that if we don’t stand up for mikes liberty we are ultimately eroding our own. [sic]”
Bluehair sent me his video of the conversation he held with a Portland Police Bureau officer. See it below.
He also told the cop:
“I can pass along the names of two individuals that saw the entire thing. And they’re both willing to, you know, testify as to what they saw.”
I asked him for information on the two and he demurred.
The officer on the call told Mike Bluehair that she was glad for his “impressions” of what happened but felt some of what he said was hearsay.
At this point, I have to shake my head. In court, the District Attorney used worse than hearsay — let’s call it derivative hearsay — to increase the charges against Strickland. She took the word of a leftist protester who was pissed off at Strickland over texts he sent. The protester labeled Strickland a “white nationalist” who sent him “possibly race based threats.”
Because of the protester’s conjecture about why Strickland asked them particular questions about a previous protest, he was labeled a racist and the district attorney’s office used that hearsay to increase the charges against him — perhaps destroying his career and livelihood. Worse, costing him his freedom.
Strickland sits in jail on $250,000.00 bail on trumped up additional charges because someone got their feelings hurt.
Strickland will be in court for a bail hearing Monday at 1:30.
The photograph — taken by the AP’s Charlie Neibergall — actually captured a background poster, with a large semi-blurred image of a handgun pointed at Cruz’s forehead, straight between the eyes.
Cruz was appearing Saturday at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa. During his speech, Cruz, an outspoken proponent of Second Amendment rights, encouraged residents to adopt what he called a Texan approach to guns by simply “hitting what you aim at.”
A day earlier, the Republican presidential candidate accused Democrats of using Wednesday’s church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, as an excuse “to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Remember when Sarah Palin was blamed for the Arizona shooting of Gabby Giffords and the U.S. Federal Court Judge in Arizona for what she’d put on a website months before? Here’s what she did (first produced by the media, by the way):
Here’s one image that uses the GOP as ‘targets’ of the Democrats. Result? No outrage:
If not for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.
“Just put Vancouver, I don’t care. They don’t check all the signatures” an anti gun petition signature gatherer told a man from Oregon and captured on tape by Citizen Journalist Laughing at Liberals. And see that guy to the right? Now look at the mugshot Same guy. LaL explains why that’s important over at his YouTube.com channel.See Laughing at Liberals’ story here.
“These signature gatherers are working for I 594, the anti gun bill in Washington sponsored by Washington Alliance For Gun Responsibility. Appears as though the company contracted to gather the signatures has a shady past, including Felony indictments for signature issues back in 2010, as well as business addresses existing in motel rooms. Furthermore, one of the petitioners is caught on film abandoning her signed forms out front of a grocery store. Looks like $800,000 from big money donors can’t even buy Washington Alliance For Gun Responsibility a decent petitioning operation.”