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.
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.
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.
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 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.
People have come forward to identify the man whom we believe uttered these words the day of the Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Portland:
“I Was There! I’m the reason why he pulled the gun.”
The gun to which he refers is the gun pulled by citizen journalist Mike Strickland in an attempt to stop an onslaught of people who were bearing down on him — even as he backed away in fear.
Strickland spent several days in Multnomah County jail on $250,000 bail all because he pulled his weapon in self defense against thugs, anarchists and black bloc rabble. They were the ones who acted illegally and Strickland paid the price for legally defending himself.
Strickland will be back in a Portland courtroom on August 5th to face four charges — two of them felonies — for unholstering his weapon in self defense.
Another person just sent me an email with his name. A website commenter wrote his name in a comment. Two others from Facebook identified him.
Kerensa is an open source tech acolyte who, when he’s not sitting in front of computer screens, apparently rushes people he doesn’t like at protests.
Here is the man, identified by people as Benjamin Kerensa, bearing down on Mike Strickland as he tries to back away from the smaller group that broke off from the main BLM protest. This was in an apparent attempt to hurt him and keep him from filming. Watch the man believed to be Kerensa at the top right of this GIF.
This video has been out there for all to see on The Oregonian website. The paper stripped this video off periscope and youtube accounts of the incident. But it wasn’t until I heard from people who identified Ka
Kerensa and told me he was in this video that I was able to connect the dots. See the part I isolated at :17:
Notice that the very second he saw the man identified as Kerensa coming, he immediately tensed and pointed his gun in his direction.
Why? Because the “big guy” roughed up Mike just minutes before. Read about that part of it here.
Here it is in slo-mo:
And they were all converging on him. As Mike told me:
“I’m watching the guys with masks with the sticks …they’re beelining for me…and they’ve got the sticks…and yelling, ‘Get the fuck out of here!!’ They keep coming at me screaming, ‘Get the fuck out of here!!’”
And then the man identified as Kerensa is seen moving around to come at Strickland perhaps from another direction:
Here’s another angle which shows the man identified as Kerensa waiting on the sidewalk:
I’ve held this post in hopes of receiving a reply to the email I sent to Kerensa July 24th:
Based on photos from that day, I see that you were there when Mike Strickland pulled his gun at the BLM event recently in Portland.
I had some questions:
Where were you in relation to Strickland when he pulled his gun? What were you doing at the event? Have you gone to protests in Portland before? What’s your relationship with the protesters at the event that day? Did you file a police report that day? Had you seen Mike Strickland before that day? Were you in fear for your life? Did you exchange words with Strickland before he pulled his gun that day? Did you talk with Strickland after he pulled his gun? What did you think about the incident? Did you think he was within his rights of self defense to pull his gun? Did you hear anyone threaten him? Did you see anyone threaten him?
What were your general observations about that day?
Thank you so much for your help.
He hasn’t responded.
Strickland has a court date on August 5th. If the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office doesn’t drop charges after all of the evidence showing Strickland moved in self defense, well, then the ‘rule of law’ isn’t really a ‘rule’ is it? In fact, it would be closer to a goal-line-moving enterprise solely dependent upon the political whims of whoever’s in charge.
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.
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.
Mike Strickland was arrested and charged in Portland for pulling a gun at a Black Lives Matter/anarchist protest when a mob converged on him. But now he sits in jail. As one person put it, “[Mike Strickland] is now a political prisoner in Multnomah County.”
First, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. But this video of Laughing at Liberals unholstering his gun and pointing in the direction of Portland anarchists and protesters awoke me from my VictoriaTaft.com slumber. It’s time to sound off.
Second, I’m well acquainted Mike Strickland and his work. Since at least 2010, the videographer has been on the scene in Portland and the northwest chronicling important stories about the organized left. I’ve used the fruits of his labors on my radio program in Portland, on this website, and in my current radio and other work.
We’re not besties, but I should tell you that when I was asked to design an online news platform, he was the one guy I sought to be on my team. Later, when I had a chance to suggest a videographer for a California state wide candidate, I suggested Mike Strickland. He’s talented and knows when a set of facts equate to a story. I’ve been impressed by his work for himself and also for Jim Hoft’s “Progressives Today” and “Gateway Pundit” where he has done some painstaking and important work — especially on gun rights.
Third, you should know that about a year ago Strickland was attacked by an anti-second amendment filmmaker named Skye Fitzgerald and so badly hurt he was hospitalized and out of work for months. His arm was broken in three places. Though charged with a felony, Fitzgerald was never prosecuted by Multnomah County prosecutors.
Here is the video that I’m told was presented to Multnomah County prosecutors showing the beating. It has not been made public until it was shared on VictoriaTaft.com:
Even with this evidence, the DA chose not to prosecute the filmmaker, though he clearly assaulted and robbed Strickland of all his cameras (which he later returned with erased flash drives/data cards).
Reports from the left and media to the contrary notwithstanding, Strickland’s not a nut or a kook. He’s a serious young man who is fulfilling a calling to expose the manipulations of the left and the media that proliferate and quite literally shout down the voices of opposing points of view in Portland and Oregon. There are probably several things with which I disagree with Mike, Ron Paul fandom comes to mind, but he’s no ‘winger.’
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m posting the video from a guy named “Mike Bluehair” who trained his camera on the mob surrounding Strickland in the seconds leading up to the unholstering of his gun and the aftermath. I don’t know “Mike Bluehair,” but the protesters apparently do and trust him (except the Crabbe and Goyle* of the anarchist set, who threatened him for being Strickland’s friend. No idea if that’s true.).
Please do these things:
Watch the video.
Watch my breakdown of the video.
Read for yourself what four cops and one very knowledgeable pro-second amendment activist had to say about the incident.
Share this around please. Post this link to your Facebook pages. Tweet this link to your friends. Email this link to your buddies. Instagram the link. Snapchat your reaction and include the link.
And remember: You do not have permission to copy and paste any/all of the content from this post. Use the link or use nothing at all. Contact me for permissions: Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com.
Now, let’s go over the video (I apologize for the differently sized GIFs, but apparently it can’t be helped).
The mob begins to surround Strickland:
The mob keeps coming:
Angry looking man and person with green coat converge with crowd:
Green jacketed person presumably sees gun and runs:
Strickland draws his weapon to back them off and backs away from the mob:
Strickland is asked to holster his weapon by someone off camera and complies:
“Mike Bluehair” tells mob to back off to let Strickland back away from the scene:
Angry man has to be held back by person in green jacket:
Angry man has to be restrained by another protester. Note that green jacket person has now put on Guy Fawkes mask:
Strickland tells mob to stop anarchists advancing on him:
The mob follows Strickland as he backs his way up the street:
Sideways hat advances while gray hoodie guy advances to the side and assaults Strickland:
The Crabbe and Goyle * of the anarchist set threaten the photog:
Angry man is back, this time with his anarchist kerchief, and advances toward Strickland:
The rest of the video involves police arriving, arresting Strickland and people being questioned. No one says they were menaced by Strickland.
It’s quite serious to draw your weapon, but if you fear for your life or fear great bodily injury, it’s a defensible thing to do. But that’s just my take. I decided to go to the experts.
I asked four cops to tell VictoriaTaft.com what they saw in this video. I’ve given all of them anonymity because of the explosive nature of this case and, after all, they have to live in the area. The only editing is for clarification and brevity.
First up is a 30+ year veteran who’s still on the job in Oregon:
“Clearly the man was afraid of the crowd. There is no crime committed, the man seemed obviously alarmed by the crowd and was backing away from the threat. Whether the threat was real or not is irrelevant, he felt threatened.”
“There is no crime committed”
Next is a long time cop in Oregon:
“Didn’t see what was going on to cause him to point a weapon initially. Clearly he was being menaced by a crowd hostile to him, who they seem to know. Many wearing full or partial masks, one holding a smoking object toward the gentleman, who was trying to back away.
At one point while backing, one of them got behind him and grabbed at him. Officer repeatedly ask if they felt menaced and he says no. Not sure why he was charged with menacing and disorderly, no victim was identified and a reasonable and prudent person might conclude he feared for his safety.
[N]ot a attorney, but his past assault and circumstances with the crowd might make a case for feeling threatened and he was attempting to leave, the videographer was shouting “If you want to be safe leave”
Menacing is a catch all misdemeanor charge, you might want to review ORS 161.205(5) A person may use physical force upon another person in self-defense or in defending a third person, in defending property, in making an arrest or in preventing an escape, as hereafter prescribed in chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971. Oh and ORS 161.219(1) Applies to use of Deadly Physical Force.”
“Clearly he was being menaced by a crowd hostile to him, who they seem to know.”
Next is a retired police investigator who was on the job in Oregon:
“Here’s anonymous (please) take. It’s LOL. I have no idea who the videographer is, but he’s got a great set of lines. My impression is that he’s in cahoots with L[a]l, but he’s also asking the cops not shoot him, and I recognize that as leftie bullshit. He said straight out the HE didn’t feel threatened by L[a]L, so there goes a serious charge where HE is concerned and leaves (if unjustified) a charge of pointing a firearm at another.
The stinkin’ Justice Center and Federal building are teeming with cameras which might show what happened earlier, before this video started, which is about the ONLY evidence I would consider AGAINST L[a]L, because this film shows assholes following him and surrounding him in spite of the videographer’s urging them not to.
For a criminal case, it is incomplete and ends with the videographer coaching a man with the words it takes to GET a complaint issued rather than merely asking the questions and listening to the answers.
Beats me, but given the facts of the personages in the crowd and L[a]L’s long history without similar trouble, the most he’d likely face if I was heading this up is a trip to the Grand Jury along with all the “witnesses” (who likely wouldn’t even show up).”
“[G]iven the facts of the personages in the crowd and L[a]L’s long history without similar trouble…”
And finally, a politically connected, retired police administrator in Oregon pointed out the untenable political situation in which the Portland Police Bureau now finds itself:
“It’s difficult to know where to start. [Laughing at Liberals] came ready for trouble because he was armed. It might be that he carries a firearm all the time [editor’s note: Strickland has a legal concealed carry permit and frequently carries].
Generally, provide the kind of calm and strength a community needs circumstances more than anything else. It is here where the confidence in the police force pays huge dividends. That’s one reason why Dallas, for the most part, remains calm even though this shooter was black and the victims were white.
Yes, and Portland, Oregon is in very sad shape in terms of political and police leadership at this point. I don’t understand how it is that the city has gotten so far out of control and lost the respect of its citizens.
The cops are doing their best under the circumstances, however when there is so little confidence in the mayor, the city council and their guidance and leadership choices for the Police Bureau, troops on the street are under a great deal of pressure every day.”
I asked former police executive if Strickland had broken the law:
“Tough call. On its face maybe not.”
Then came the political rationale for arresting Strickland in the first place which was to appease the anarchists:
“[O]ften the decision to arrest on the street other than the intent of the law is to address the larger issues in this case: restore or maintain the peace and also to re-establish that the police are in control.
I am not sure there was any choice in the moment given the facts and the and the need to end the situation. What you to ask yourself is: can we allow the perception that guns drawn in these situations between the citizenry should be the new norm? That is not to say that the charges will stand when the DA has a chance to review the entire set of facts. Of course, by that time, the street has returned to some kind of calm and the situation ends safely.
Unfortunately, once in awhile the probably cause to make an arrest to keep the peace trumps the interest of the individual. In the end, the question becomes proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
A reasonable person may think [Strickland] broke the law but that doesn’t mean his actions will be judged to have been [unlawful].”
“Q: Did he break the law? A: On its face maybe not.”
“I can’t think of a situation that is more appropriate for defensive use of a weapon…”
He says the way in which the prosecutors increased the charges at the arraignment, raised the bail to $250,000 when they would have let anyone else go, the bizarre hearsay entered as ‘fact’ at the hearing, and the fact that the organized left has made Strickland a target with websites have basically made Strickland a pariah:
“[Mike Strickland] is a political prisoner in Multnomah County Jail. That is absolutely the case.”
Starrett says even some gun owners believe Strickland should not have been at the protest in the first place. He’s in that camp. But, he says, “he had every right to be there.” Furthermore, the head of the OFF told VictoriaTaft.com:
“[I]f I were approached by a crowd like that, that I believe intended to do me harm, a deranged mob mentality — can you win in that situation…probably not. But I can’t think of a situation that is more appropriate for defensive use of a weapon. He had a right to be there. Was it a great idea? No. He went into enemy territory. But there are war correspondents in the same situation.”
Starrett says the videographer’s own footage could exonerate him:
“The only video that counts is the one he shot. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it disappears [in prosecutors’ custody].”
And it’s the way forward that has Starrett concerned as well:
“What’s happening now with him is part of a grander thing. They’re determined to make an example out of him. He’s the easiest bone to throw them [the leftist power structure of Portland].”
Starrett told VictoriaTaft.com that OFF is ready to help with attorneys fees, but starting out with an outsized bail is going to sap valuable resources. This issue is bigger than their war chest can cover.
Starrett, who teaches firearms law and self defense law, told VictoriaTaft.com:
“I have only the videos to go on, but as an instructor I believe that after drawing his firearm, he holstered as soon as he thought it was safe and we tell people to do that.”
Starrett doesn’t hold out much hope that a pro Second Amendment person will get fair treatment in Portland:
“In any rational county they would have carted him off and cited him. Multnomah County is still predisposed against him. After all, he was attacked on video and his attacker was able to walk.”
And then he revealed his worst fear:
“A conservative person cannot expect justice in multnomah county.”
A private Facebook page has been set up to give support to Strickland and keep track of his case.
To help defray the costs of Strickland’s defense case, Oregon Firearms Federation is continuing to take donations at its Foundation with a credit card or via snail mail. Checks to the 501c3 organizations can be made out to Oregon Firearms Federation Foundation (marked Mike Strickland defense) and mailed:
PO Box 556 Canby OR 97013503-263-5830
*Draco Malfoy’s thuggish friends from the Harry Potter series.
And remember: You do not have permission to copy and paste any/all of the content from this post. Use the link or use nothing at all. Quotes will be attributed to VictoriaTaft.com. Contact me for permissions: Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com.
In the same place that forced bakers out of business because they refused (out of religious conviction) to bake a cake for a same sex wedding, a government supported 501c3 organization has held a meeting that excluded everyone–except blacks.
The Portland, OR branch of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party held an event at Portland’s Center For Intercultural Organizing. The AAPRP puts on several events and organizes in communities, but this time, the event was specifically “blacks only”. No whites, no Asians, no latinos/latinas, no natives… Only “for all who identify as being of African descent“.
Strickland points out the group receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grants.
Sounds to me that a group which practices discrimination is not a place where the government should be putting our tax money.
Read the details over here. Oh, and ‘All African People’s Revolutionary Party’? Don’t bother scrubbing your websites. They’re alllll screen capped. Have a nice day.