Benjamin Kerensa is a professional protester who bragged on video that he was the one who made Michael Strickland draw his weapon last July at the Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally and march:
“I Was There! I’m the reason why he pulled the gun.”
Strickland’s prudent defense against the approximately 400 pound Kerensa, who was among several people advancing on him, is what got the 37-year-old videographer in trouble with the law. Strickland now faces years in prison after being convicted of 21 counts. (Please see my previous posts on the case in the links at the bottom of this story.)
These same people had assaulted Strickland moments before while he was trying to cover the rally.
The head of the rally, John Slaughter, and Kerensa admitted in court that they were part of a conspiracy to assault Strickland to get him to stop covering the event. Kerensa actually admitted to assaulting the videographer in court.
Last weekend, at the “March 4 Trump” rally in Lake Oswego, Kerensa was back, this time threatening another videographer.
Kerensa has a long history of crime. He’s considered to be a dangerous, violent and disturbed individual. That’s what his lengthy rap sheet says.
You’d think that a convicted criminal (federal, state, local) who has seen the inside of a federal prison cell would want to stay as far away from cops as possible, but Kerensa seems to be drawn to them like a moth to a flame. In fact, there are those who consider Kerensa to be a police informant–which may explain why he’s never been charged with assaulting Strickland and why the man who impersonated an FBI agent and made bomb threats was brought in as a prosecution “victim” witness in Strickland’s case.
See the video below from another ever-present protester who was threatened by Kerensa and who wonders if he’s really an informant.
Last weekend Kerensa ran to the cops at the Lake Oswego protest to get videographer Leo Stratton in trouble for, laughably, “making third party contact” with the ever-present roly-poly-protester:
Apparently, the entire world is a “third party” to Kerensa.
Of course, the odd thing is, ‘snitching’ is verboten in the protester/anarchist world, remember?
Last November, protesters were handing out this flyer to people covering the event. It was a threat to them to take them out–much like what they did to Strickland. The last line reads:
“Consider this a warning.”
And Strickland’s own video from 2011’s Occupy Portland, shows one of the other protesters at the July event, Jessie Sponberg, and other familiar faces get in Strickland’s grill for recording them in the public park that they had “occupied”:
Now listen to the video by Mary Eng, who uses the handle Brain Garbage, talk about Kerensa, his attempted assault on her –with several well known witnesses– and her passing observation that he appears to be a police informant:
I can’t imagine why a person who’s a professional liar, as Kerensa is, would be helpful as a police informant, but there is one glaring reason why it could be plausible: He’s never been charged for assaulting Strickland — even after admitting it in court.
I don’t want to get carried away with flights of fancy or anything, but if you consider that a possibility, doesn’t it seem possible that the conspiracy to get rid of Strickland went higher than the protesters? Just a thought.
Executive Club Meeting!
7:00 pm • Wednesday March 1st • Airport Shilo Inn
Multnomah County turned darker in February, and it wasn’t the rain.
In spite of the overwhelming statistics that indicate handguns
drawn in self-defense are almost never fired, and when they are
fired kill an innocent party only a tenth as often as police do…
In spite of clear video evidence that a mob was in pursuit of and
assaulting a journalist as he tried to get away…
In spite of the mob not being so much as charged with any crime…
It was “2nd Amendment be damned! Fear for life and limb, stand down!
So what if that journalist had already been hospitalized by one such
unprosecuted thug, and was now pursued by a several with hate-full eyes?”
Darkness took the win, by the hand of one judge:
the victim of that mob assault, Mike Strickland, was charged with,
and convicted of, 21 felonies.
Perverse “progressive” Portland’s very own political prisoner.
Our speaker this month takes just a bit of exception to this travesty.
One can’t discuss the Mike Strickland gun case in Portland, Oregon without considering the first amendment ramifications of his prosecution.
Strickland, a freelance journalist, drew his legal, licensed, registered concealed hand gun while covering a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX march and rally July 7, 2016.
After covering the event for awhile, Strickland was forced to draw his weapon, a Glock handgun, to stop a phalanx of protesters who converged on him. The mob came from three sides in order to attack and stop him from covering the rally.
Believing he was in danger, Strickland swept the black bloc attired mob, without his finger on the trigger, to stop the threat coming at him from the left. He then protected his right flank, sweeping the people converging on him from the front.
His self defense move worked long enough for him to back away from the mob. When he got to relative safety, he surrendered to police–who had just arrived about a block away.
Strickland drew his pistol after getting assaulted–roughed up if you prefer–by the same mob of people mere moments before. This time, he knew they were going to ‘get’ him–because they told him–and he drew.
Indeed, as video proves, the mob surrounding him began yelling “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” before he even showed his gun or drew it. They knew he carried.
One was overheard on video bragging that they had gotten him to draw his weapon.
A witness in court testified there had been a conspiracy by anarchists to assault him and toss him out of the rally.
Strickland was questioned and released the night of his attack and he was ordered to court on a misdemeanor count of menacing.
When it was discovered who prosecutors had–the hated Laughing at Liberals guy–the 1 charge turned into 21 and the 1 misdemeanor turned into multiple felonies.
Deputy District Attorney, Kate Molina, decided that Strickland was a danger to society and–who knew?– was a “white nationalist” and “racist.”
The “racist” label was attached to Strickland for his coverage of a “whiteness” lecture series which made national news. It certainly was not due to Strickland’s own beliefs and actions. But thereafter, protesters routinely yelled at rallies and marches that he was a racist or white nationalist in order to incite violence against him and ruin his video coverage of them.
The prosecutor took the word of the people who had-it-in-for Strickland and, using prosecutorial discretion, sprinkled fairy dust on the assaultive mob who then magically became ‘victims.’
Strickland’s attorneys told me they believe the prosecution always had been a political statement.
An outside attorney who lives in Vancouver, Washington arrived at the same conclusion and wrote me:
“Prosecutorial zeal and judicial hostility to the Second Amendment have combined in a perfect storm of injustice.”
In leftist, anti-gun Portland, a simple act of self defense was inflated into a 21 count felony indictment that could land the 37-year-old Portland journalist in prison for 50+ years.
Abject lies about Strickland’s ‘racism’ and ‘white nationalism’–made-up thought crimes–enhanced the charges against him. Deputy district attorney Kate Molina said so in court.
Strickland’s bail blew up to $250,000. The charges included 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of disorderly conduct.
Court watchers told me that after fewer than five minutes of reflection, on Friday, February 10, 2017, Judge Thomas Ryan announced his verdict: guilty on all 21 counts.
By now you may have read the various posts about this case. Maybe you’ve seen the video of the mob going after Strickland.
Here’s what you don’t know.
Ever since Strickland was formally charged, his own video of what happened that day has been under seal. It saw daylight only to be shown in court the day the judge convicted him. The judge said the attack by the mob should have NO bearing on Strickland’s actions that day.
But there’s more.
Strickland has been ordered not to do what he did for a living. He can’t work.
He can’t blog or write.
He can’t go near any protest.
He can’t video any protest.
The institutional left in Portland has silenced a contrary political voice. Moreover, the institutional left in Portland has done so to a journalist.
The leftist protesters and some members of institutional Portland–Cease Fire Oregon, perhaps?–allowed this miscarriage of justice to occur to a person with an unpopular viewpoint who defended himself with unpopular weapon.
As you can read in my posts (see below), after Strickland’s incident, a local television photographer was injured while covering a mob, other reporters were threatened by anarchists if they dared use their cameras to show protesters … or else.
Anarchists were running the show on the streets. Who was running the prosecutor’s office?
The one guy who tried to defend himself was brought up on 21-felony charges and faces decades in prison. And the very people who assaulted him in order to shut him up haven’t been charged.
Let’s stop and appreciate this for just moment. Prosecutors, the mayor, police–institutional Portland–threw the book at a guy who defended himself from getting the shit beat out of him by a bunch of anarchists because they don’t like his viewpoint and were trying to stop him from reporting a story.
In short, if you defend yourself you could be thrown in prison just because they don’t like your political viewpoint. That’s a powerful message to send a community.
And Strickland can’t say one word to defend himself…or else.
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.
Day-2 of Mike Strickland’s trial saw a pivotal moment in the case.
Lawyers for Strickland waived his right to a jury trial and opted to be tried solely by the judge.
Strickland is on trial for pulling his legally licensed, registered gun at protesters and anarchists as they rushed him to assault him–again–at a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally last July 7th in downtown Portland.
Court watchers reported Tuesday that the Portland jury pool had so many anti-gun, anti-second amendment members that Strickland wouldn’t get a fair trial. One of the prospective jurors belonged to a an anti-gun group whose leader was pushing for Strickland to be prosecuted.
The Oregonian reported that 30% of the jury pool was against guns.
Previously, Strickland’s defense team moved for a change of venue which was denied by the judge.
In day-2 testimony, the first prosecution witness was absolutely picked apart by the defense.
Court watchers reported that the cross examination was so thorough that the defense attorneys, Jason Short and Chris Trotter, were able to use the witness’s testimony to their advantage.
Witness John Slaughter is a local sports coach. He’s had gigs at Benson High School and PCC. He’s also a frequent protester and one of the organizers of the July 7 Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event.
Slaughter crossed paths with Strickland when the journalist was videotaping a ‘peaceful’ tribute to Orlando victims.
Activists gathered for the event immediately seized on Strickland, calling him names such as “white nationalist,” “racist” and other labels in an attempt to stop him from videotaping.
Eventually, one man grabbed his camera, explaining that it was a ‘peaceful’ vigil and that he should leave, but that didn’t stop the hate from being heaped on Strickland by ‘peaceful’ protesters.
A man wearing a dress began shrieking at Strickland and calling him, wrongly, a “white nationalist” and telling him to “get your white nationalist ass out of here”:
Activists who had gathered for the Orlando tribute were ‘triggered’ by Strickland enough to surround him, push him and try to take his camera away from him.
Let’s pause here for a second and take up the ‘white nationalist’ issue.
This white nationalist label and the left’s copious use of it to describe Strickland appears to come from the journalist’s coverage of the Portland Community College series on “whiteness.” The uncomfortable spotlight on one of the left’s pet issues–white privilege– angered them. Protesters began calling him a racist and white nationalist for showing (and sometimes mocking) the lectures on his YouTube channel.
Strickland’s stories made national news.
That infuriated the organized left.
After Strickland was arrested for drawing his weapon, PCC and Portland State University, places where he found endless story ideas, immediately banned him from campus. That ban continues today.
Prosecutor Kate Molina used the left’s ‘white nationalist’ and ‘racist’ labels to increase and enhance the charges against Strickland and keep him behind bars for a longer period of time.
Molina never provided proof, rather she relied hearsay reports–from people like John Slaughter, anti-gun crusader (and frequent Strickland object) Penny Okamoto, and, who knows, maybe that guy in the dress, to say Strickland was somehow a racist.
This game of prosecutorial ‘telephone’ cost Strickland plenty. And their adolescent group think cost Strickland his freedom.
Back to the ‘peaceful’ Orlando tribute. Eventually, one man told Strickland he could video him and even gave his job title and phone number for public consumption.
That man was John Slaughter. He was the prosecution’s first witness.
Slaughter testified that on July 7 a group of anarchists and protesters got together and conspired to go get Strickland. Their aim was to kick him out of the protest to prevent him from covering it.
Of course, he didn’t call it a conspiracy, but that’s what it was. Court watchers told me he also seemed to have no clue that planning an assault was illegal.
Slaughter was one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot #PDX event.
He testified that Mike’s concealed Glock was openly carried. Wrong.
He testified that cops swarmed the place. Wrong.
He testified that some of their members were armed. Oops.
He didn’t know if his “event” was permitted.
He claimed Mike was a racist and troublemaker but testified that members of his group initiated the contact with Mike to get him thrown out.
Prosecutors are hanging their hats on the idea that somehow this protest was “family friendly” and that Mike came to disrupt it as a counter protester.
One warned protesters that if they saw him go somewhere he “was going in violence.” He menacingly followed Strickland up the street after the journalist put his gun away and was backing away to safety.
And here’s John Slaughter endorsing this ‘family friendly’ violence right along with them:
Actually endorsing violence, plotting a crime and carrying it out has not resulted in Slaughter being banned from PCC, by the way.
This post about the day-2 events is late because photos from my first post were reported to the court and got one our court watchers banned from the courtroom.
The message was, if you cover this event you’ll be hurt.
Four months before this overt threat was sent to the media by protesters, Strickland had already arrested, jailed and awaiting trial for pulling his gun to hold back-out-of-control anarchists converging on him.
But Strickland already had a healthy respect for the violent nature of some of the people.
Watch what happened to him in November of 2012 at a post-Occupy Portland event. You’ll recognize many of the same faces from Occupy and present day protests, as he noted on his news platform “Laughing at Liberals”:
Occupy Portland holds their N3 rally and march against “austerity”. At the end of the march, several protestors gather near cameraman and berate him, yell at him through a megaphone, then, finally, shove him through the circle of people who had surrounded him. This was all triggered by one of them shouting “snitches get stitches” at the cameraman.
Several of the people who took part in this escapade are regulars in other videos and media. Jesse Sponberg, Mario Javier David Haro (Mario Haro), Ibrahim Mubarak, and Richie Hernandez. Also present are International Workers of the World members and other union members.
They encircled Strickland, pushed and threatened him. Note their use of the word ‘snitch’:
And things have just gotten worse.
Last October, one of the anarchists who is a “victim” in the Strickland case, helped take over City Hall. Ben Kerensa is in the first seconds of this video. He’s the large man on the left:
Portland Police Bureau cops eventually threw out the protesters which was a rare show of force by them:
As you’ll see in the video above, a television news photographer was roughed up and two cops went down in the fray.
David Kif Davis, 44, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
Hallie Bernhof, 20, cited for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass
Carlton Smith, 43, cited for disorderly conduct
Henrick De-Savy, 21, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
James Mattox, 27, cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with a public safety officer
Frank Martinez Jr., 24, cited for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and interring with a public safety officer
Benjamin Kerensa, 32, cited for theft
In November, again after Strickland was awaiting his felony trial to start and had already been stripped of his method of making a living, the protesters showed their true colors again.
Protesters again went berserk and rioted through the streets of Portland. A protester was shot by a fellow protester.
The Oregon GOP accused City Hall of “dereliction of duty” by failing to enforce the law and, in so doing, endanger Portlanders. They demanded the resignation of outgoing mayor Charlie Hales for letting violent protesters take over the streets.
Residents took matters into their own hands. This woman, whose car was being blocked by protesters, got out and used the only weapon she had available–laundry detergent–to get a black bloc anarchist out of her way.
After protests turned violent the last several nights, including vandalism and one person getting shot, KGW is taking a new approach to covering violent protests. Our journalists and others in the media have been injured and gassed covering these protests.
We don’t want our people or anyone else to get injured in these riots. That’s why we’ve decided to cover violent confrontations from a safe distance. We will also think long and hard about what we put on air and online.
We also are committed to including you in our reporting process. How do you think we should cover protests? Does media coverage encourage violent people in the crowds? Let us know in the comments.
Portland Police confirmed the attack:
Some protesters attacked a film crew. Bottles being thrown at police. Distractionary "bang" devices being used to effect arrests.
Mike Strickland goes on trial for his freedom on Monday in a Multnomah County courtroom. For drawing his weapon in self defense at a group of anarchists converging on him at a July Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX protest, he faces more than 50 years in prison.
Strickland drew his weapon at the marauding group of anarchists because they had previously hit him, roughed him up, and hit him with their anarchist flag poles while he covered the protest for his news platform known as “Laughing With Liberals.”
Strickland has a reputation with Portland protesters. As I explained in my previous post, the Portland protesters and their anarchist black bloc members don’t like him because he makes fun of them with his videos.
Some people have asked why he would have carried his legally purchased, properly licensed concealed handgun with him to a work project.
You need not go far to find out why. Protests and protesters have grown more violent.
As we saw this week at UC Berkeley, people who protested Milo Yiannopolous, a gay, conservative speaker and journalist set things on fire and beat people who came to hear the speaker.
Videos of UC #Berkeley loonies protesting AGAINST free speech.
She told ABC-7 that the protesting anarchists hit her with their flag poles:
Kiara Robles said after that incident she was targeted again. “They hit you with flag poles, they hit all my friends with flag poles,” she said. “I had to jump over a fence. If they wanted to do some serious damage to me in that moment I would have been completely unable to stop them.
This is what Strickland says happened to him during the protest before the anarchist broke away converged on him.
On that day in July in Portland, these were among the protesters carrying the anarchist flags:
Anyone who’s seen any of Strickland’s reports from May Day protests in Seattle know how violent these protests have been.
In November in Portland, a protester who had been part of a squad of “protesters looting, vandalizing and tagging” shot another protester on the Morrison Bridge. See Cameron Whitten’s real-time play-by-play of the incident.
People who routinely cover protests in addition to Strickland were at the November protests. Their lives were threatened — by those “peaceful” protesters again.
Huh, committing acts of violence against journalists … And since they’d already done it to Strickland and got him arrested, you’d better believe the message was heard loud and clear.
Last weekend, KOIN-TV caught on tape as a couple’s car was surrounded and prevented from moving by Portland protesters–among them, one of those who had converged on Strickland back in July, Ben Kerensa:
At that same protest, a street preacher who was reportedly following protesters was assaulted and sent to the hospital.
The assaulter who did it? Frequent protester and activist, Jesse Sponberg. Sponberg admitted his assault on video:
Sponberg posted a video, claiming he’s the one who punched Chisholm. The news was first reported by KATU’s news partners at Willamette Week.
“They are violent bullies who had gone too far, with nobody else stopping them from creating another violent situation,” Sponberg said. “Either way, I’m going to need a good lawyer.”
Sponberg turned himself in to Port of Portland Police Thursday afternoon.
Ironically, Sponberg was one who tried to keep things peaceful after Strickland’s assault and pulling his weapon. He was temporarily put in handcuffs with Strickland because the police thought he might be part of the problem. Imagine that.
Mike Strickland had the book thrown at him and pulled his gun in self-defense against violent protesters.
People are getting sick and tired of their freedom of movement restricted by these thuggish protesters.
Recently, one fed up woman grabbed whatever she had in her car and ran out to chase away an anarchist. Her weapon? Laundry detergent.
Republicans have called out the city’s leadership for “dereliction of duty” for its failure to reign in out-of-control protests.
Some of these protesters have been paid to hit the streets, clog up traffic and commit acts of violence. I outline this here.
The same people paying them are of the same political bent as the political bosses running the levers of power in Portland–including the DA’s office.
Sponberg was seen committing the assault but, as of this posting, has not been charged with a crime.
The same people in power arrested, jailed, threw the book at and are putting on trial a man who tried to defend himself from these same violent protesters when police were nowhere in sight. And he might go to prison for 50+ years.
“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 deputy Kate Molina 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.”
Judge Thomas Ryan will preside over the proceedings.
At a hearing this week, Strickland’a attorney Chris Trotter asked for several motions, including change of venue out of Multnomah County–Oregon’s most liberal and anti-gun county. The motion was denied.
Portland Police traditionally have had a hands-off approach to protesters until violence breaks out –which has happened at nearly every gathering of the leftists.
Multnomah County has a bias in favor protesters. Peaceful assembly is something our constitution protects. But, based on history, most of these assemblies are seldom, if ever, peaceful.
Now, Portland Police have added to their hands-off approach a ‘we’ll-hide-over-here’ and wait for violence to break out.
How’s that ‘we’ll be over here if you need us’ approach working?
At the Portland Airport on Sunday, protesters took over the airport, blocked traffic and threatened drivers. A loud and annoying street preacher was beaten. The police came only after the attack.
In fact, one of the ‘victims’ in the Strickland case, anarchist Ben Kerensa, was back on the streets intimidating and blocking this driver at the airport:
At a particularly odious anti-Donald Trump protest and riot, a protester was shot when police allowed the rabble to take over the Morrison Bridge over the Willamette River.
The day of the Strickland attack, the police had taken up their hands-off-we’ll-hide-over-here approach. They were not visible and therefore provided no visual intimidation to the attackers.
This was even though a ‘Don’t Shoot PDX’ rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square was given a pep talk by self described Black Panthers encouraging people to get their guns and commit acts of violence at the event (see post below).
When it was over, one of the only guys not in favor of violence had to pull his gun to stay out of the hospital.
The trial starts Monday and prosecutors will attempt to prove that Strickland wasn’t a journalist but an antagonizing counter protester.
Strickland is a paid journalist, so he’s far from the DA’s characterization. But, think about that for a second, if he were a counter protester, would it have been acceptable for the anarchists to attack him? That seems to be where they’re going with this.
Next: Why the anarchists at the July 7th protest were out to get Strickland.
Mike Strickland faces a hearing today in Portland, Oregon for drawing his weapon on anarchists who roughed him up during a July 7th protest and were rushing in for a second go at him.
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.
Some of those people are planning to testify against the Portland journalist in court.
Here’s one of them.
Ben Kerensa has recently become a fixture in the last couple of years at Portland protests.
Here he is yesterday blocking access to all vehicles and then surrounding one car targeted by protesters. These photos come from KOIN TV’s live shot at the airport:
Before you go thinking Kerensa’s just some gadfly protest fan-boy, let’s consider his dangerous and violent past.
Here’s the thumbnail sketch. Kerensa has a history of calling in phony bomb threats, phony police reports and impersonating an FBI agent. He’s spent time in at least one California federal prison and convicted in Oregon on federal charges of impersonating an FBI agent–more than once. He was also under parole and probation officials in Oregon.
He has been in trouble with the law in at least three counties, Multnomah, Curry and Marion.
And that’s just for starters.
He’s also a hacker, so if anything happens to this website, I’ll consider him the #1 suspect.
And this man with a history of lying, phoning in false threats, filing false police reports, impersonating authorities and much, much more is a person on whom the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is relying to prosecute Mike Strickland.
Next time: When Kerensa phoned in a SWAT call to a Salem hospital and his antics at a huge San Francisco Tech fair.
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.
Mike Strickland was indicted by Multnomah County grand jury on Thursday. The 21 count indictment alleges he “unlawfully used a” firearm and “menaced” when he unholstered his weapon and pointed it toward people on July 7th, the day of the Black Lives Matter protest. Another count of second degree disorderly conduct was added.
“Strickland was released from custody on July 19, after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail. He’s among 18 people who testified before the grand jury, according to the indictment.”
Victims are variously described as “a man wearing jeans, green cloth on his face,” “man in blue hooded top with messenger bag,” “man with tan pants … carrying an orange bottle,” “a man with tan pants … wearing a scarf around his neck,” “green top, dark backpack, white mask on his face,” “a female with a black skirt, black skirt and black cloth over her mouth.”
A person has a right to face his accusers, but it seems in Multnomah County you can neither know their names nor see their faces — literally. I say that only half jokingly. There’s a reason their faces are covered. They don’t want to be recognized by the cops.
More on point, however, is that there are ten unnamed people at whom the District Attorneys believe Strickland pointed his gun. They watched the video tapes out there — probably right here on this website — to come up with their victim list.
I’ll be going through the video tapes as well to see exactly which victims we’re talking about and whether they were among the ones advancing on Strickland, causing him to pull out his gun because — obviously –you won’t hear that from prosecutors.
Prosecutors are trying to make an example out of Strickland, using him as an abject lesson on how you can’t defend yourself — even if you feel in fear of your safety from advancing — by using a gun. They’re trying to move the goal posts for that law to further clamp down on gun ownership and use in Oregon’s largest city.
As one of his attorneys Jason Short told VictoriaTaft.com, the burden of proof at grand jury is much lower — it’s a prosecutor’s world:
“This isn’t a matter of whether the state can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That high standard doesn’t apply at the grand jury level. The DA has 100% control over what evidence is presented before that “secret” grand jury. The witnesses are not subject to cross examination. If the witness or “victim” has a criminal history, that may not be discussed.
“These charges themselves mean nothing without evidence being brought forward before a judge or jury under a burden of proving that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Keep in mind, evidence that is “clear and convincing” is not even close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
They’re throwing everything they’ve got against the wall to see what sticks and hoping that Strickland will cop a plea. I pray he doesn’t. He’s innocent.
On his innocence, Short told VictoriaTaft.com:
“I’m very much looking forward to taking this case to trial. I don’t just believe, I know, that police officers believe he acted correctly and did nothing wrong. They won’t come forward for fear or being fired. We won’t have any problem finding use-of-force experts to testify that Michael acted in self-defense.”
These are serious charges carrying serious jail time should he be found guilty. Prosecutors are playing with a man’s life to further an anti-gun agenda.
Strickland’s in court today to answer to the charges.
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?