A sentencing report prepared for Judge Thomas Ryan recommends no prison time for Michael Strickland, though the judge could ignore the report.
Strickland never has posed a threat to anyone, even the day he was forced to draw his weapon to defend himself against an onslaught of Portland Black Bloc outfitted anarchists and the ironically self described “anti fascists” as they attempted to — for the second time that day — assault and throw him out of a protest July 7, 2016.
The move employed by the violent mob that day was the same threatened against the GOP at the 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade, which was canceled due to the promised violence.
Multnomah County’s two track justice system — one for anarchists and one for law abiding citizens such as Strickland — is being watched by national figures.
Strickland has secured the services of Robert Barnes, an appeals attorney, to take over for his able trial attorneys Chris Trotter and Jason Short.
Barnes specializes in tax law and constitutional law. He successfully argued and won the first amendment aspect of actor Wesley Snipe’s tax prosecution. He’s been involved in several high profile cases. Though he bases his practice in Los Angeles, Barnes practices all over the country and the world. He’s tried at least one case in Oregon before.
Though rife with many appealable angles, Barnes has told me that he initially sees the Strickland case as a first amendment case.
Strickland will be sentenced today at 9am in the Multnomah County Courthouse.
I won’t rest until Strickland gets his ability to do his job back, his freedom back and the agonies that he’s undergone absolved and restored. I hope there’s a civil lawsuit against these people and I hope he wins a huge judgement against them.
Exactly one week ago on Monday, a Multnomah County judge found a man not guilty of doing the same thing a Portland reporter is alleged to have done on the streets of downtown Portland.
Monday, Mike Strickland will have his day in court as he asks for reduced bail in the case against him. Strickland has been charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors related to unholstering his gun as Black Lives Matter protesters charged him last week. Strickland was in fear of great bodily injury or worse.
At about 5:00 in the afternoon in October of 2015, Stevan Blagojevic was minding his own business on a walk in downtown Portland, when he happened upon an all-too-familiar scene.
Perched near the side walk was an apparently homeless man who decided for some reason that he would make Blagojevich the object of his copious amounts of scorn. Blagojevich’s attorney Jason Short told VictoriaTaft.com that the drifter decided he was going to teach Blagojevic a lesson and “kick his ass.”
The large man began charging Blagojevich — until Blagojevich unholstered his semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at him. The man stopped charging.
As Short told VictoriaTaft.com:
“My client was in fear of imminent serious physical injury and he did the right thing. This guy could have easily pummeled him, punched him, threw him on the ground. He could have killed him. So, he pulled out his gun, did what anybody would do, pointed it at him, and simply told the charging man, ‘Back the ‘f’off, get away from me!'”
As he drew down on his would-be attacker, he ordered another person to call 9-1-1 and waited for the cops.
Short says that when police arrived, Blagojevich showed them his drivers license and concealed weapons permit. He offered to show his gun to cops, who said, ‘no, just keep it in your pocket.’ Blagojevich was not cited and he went about living his life.
But months later, the Multnomah County DA decided to file a charge against Blaogojevich. He was charged with one count of menacing, which in Oregon is a Class A misdemeanor.
That case ended last Monday, when, in a bench trial, Judge Jerry Hodson found Blagojevich not guilty of menacing. Why? Because defending yourself against a charging, menacing person is not against the law. It’s actually reasonable.
This is essentially the same type of scenario that Mike Strickland confronted.
The DA’s office has already shown prejudice against Strickland by increasing the charges (see previous posts).
I have one question: Will the DA’s office admit it was wrong and drop the charges?
And Mike has a question of his own:
“What I want to know was if I can’t use my gun, what were my legal options for self defense?”
Let’s hope Multnomah County’s justice answers that question swiftly and in Mike’s favor soon. After all, the precedent was just set one week ago. And Strickland’s attorneys are Jason Short and Chris Trotter, who just successfully defended Blagojevich.