Mike Strickland has called on the Oregon Appeals Court to set aside his conviction for unholstering pistol to defend himself after being attacked, menaced and chased by masked and armed Antifa protesters in July of 2016.
The incident happened at a “Don’t Shoot Portland”/”Black Lives Matter” event when a group of anarchist/masked Antifa broke off from the main protest group to stop Strickland from filming the event. Just moments before, some of the same people attacked Strickland with their Antifa flag poles and fists.
Strickland feared for his life with the 300 pound Kerensa bearing down on him and others rushing the videographer.
Strickland is a working journalist who covered these events for his own news site on YouTube as well as for other national news sites.
Strickland was found guilty of ten counts of unlawful use of a weapon, ten counts of menacing, and one count of disorderly conduct in the second degree. He could have gone to prison for decades for the offenses. At sentencing, he was ordered to serve 40 days in jail.
The appeal was filed by Robert Barnes of Los Angeles and Mark Geiger of Salem.
In the discussion of the case, Barnes said that Strickland’s case was a study in ambush:
“Attack by ambush followed by trial by ambush followed by verdict by ambush.”
Among the issues that the attorneys claimed were wrongly decided were:
The trial court committed reversible error when it denied Defendant’s motion for a change of venue.
Local media about the case described Strickland in prejudicial terms which would have tainted a jury pool:
Within the articles, misinformation concerning Defendant was widespread and included falsely alleging Defendant was a “white nationalist anarchist”; falsely stating that Defendant was at the protest to instigate others; falsely describing Defendant as a “counter protestor”, “right-wing troll”, and “crazy guy”; and falsely claiming Defendant came to the protest “prepared for battle” and “nearly shot [the protestors].”
Barnes argues that the local prosecutor and police chief clearly tried to prejudice media coverage against Strickland:
At arraignment, State Attorney Katharine Molina told the press that Defendant had a past police report involving a situation wherein an attendee of a vigil for the Orlando nightclub shooting was sent harassing text messages of a race based nature after asking Defendant to leave the vigil. (ER 45) The State pushed this story to the press despite there being no proof that Defendant had anything to do with it. (ER 45) The State essentially accused Defendant of being a racist to the press, in a time where racial issues are at the forefront of American politics, despite no proof existing for the claim. (ER 45) Also, Portland Chief of Police Mike Marshman, in a memo sent to the Portland Police Bureau that was later spread by the press, described Defendant as someone who “menaced other protestors” and claimed that as a result the protest “could have turned deadly.” (ER 135.)
Those statements were not only unfair, they were untrue.
Barnes further argued that the unprovoked beating by an anti gun filmmaker, which severely broke Strickland’s arm, requiring surgery, should have been allowed into evidence to help establish his state of mind at the time of the attack at the Don’t Shoot Portland event.
The trial court committed reversible error when it granted the State’s motion to exclude evidence of an unrelated prior altercation.
A surprise use-of-force witness brought in at the 11th hour, giving defense attorneys only a few hours’ notice was prejudicial and reversible error by Judge Thomas Ryan:
The trial court committed reversible error when it allowed the prosecution to put forward a surprise rebuttal witness because the State had not properly notified the defense of said witness.
The defense attorney took issue with the way in which the ‘victims’ were labeled by local prosecutors, giving Strickland no way to object:
It also offered vague descriptions of the alleged victims, rather than naming them. The court denied the demurrer, holding that the prosecution can charge in the alternative. The trial court committed reversible error when it denied Defendant’s demurrer, although the indictment charged more than one defense not separately stated and it was not definite or certain.
Strickland’s appeals attorney took issue with the Judge’s order not allowing him to use a camera, video equipment – in other words, the tools of his trade – while under parole and probation:
In addition to the myriad of prejudicial decisions against Defendant, the trial court committed an error when it violated Defendant’s constitutional rights guaranteed by the first amendment.
The 456 page document, complete with multiple pages of exhibits and testimony, was filed in court on December 12th.
As Michael Strickland’s May 3rd sentencing draws near, it’s important that the full story of his defense be brought out into the open. That’s why Judge Thomas Ryan should release Michael Strickland’s own video which has been hidden from public view since the videographer’s arrest.
Strickland is the freelance journalist who drew his legal, licensed concealed hand gun to fend off a violent mob of anarchists while covering a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX march and rally July 7, 2016.
Here’s the key point:
After covering the event for awhile, Strickland was assaulted by a group of protesters who admitted in court they conspired to throw him out. They assaulted him once and then came back after him. Strickland was forced to draw his weapon after efforts to back them off with verbal commands and defensively using his monopod failed to back them off.
The mob came from three sides in order to attack and stop him from covering the rally.
Rightly 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. It worked. He was able to back up the street to safety — until the Multnomah County DA’s office victimized him again.
He was convicted on 21 charges, ten of which were felonies, by a Multnomah County judge in February after two minutes consideration.
The view we’ve seen so far should have been defense enough:
Multnomah County surveillance video, which included the entire scene, may help see the first attack, but Michael Strickland’s own video clearly tells the tale.
It was shown in court, but the judge made attempts to keep onlookers from seeing it. Why? Because it clearly shows that Strickland was roughed up, assaulted, beaten about by a gang of thugs. And then they came to do it again. And even though Strickland knew their intent, he tried to talk them out of it, gave verbal commands, used his monopod as defense and then, as a last resort, pulled his gun. His finger was never on the trigger,
but the mere presence of that gun backed off the
oncoming thugs giving Strickland the ability to back away.
That’s just another reason why this case is such a travesty.
Organizers have canceled the kick off parade for the venerable Portland Rose Festival after Portland protesters promised violence against Republican Party members who planned to march in the neighborhood event.
KATU TV reported that due to online threats and emails sent to co-conspirators, the organizers of the 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade canceled it rather than suffer the violence promised by the so called “anti fascist” protesters:
The Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) was planning to take part in the parade, however someone sent out an email over the weekend that claimed they would have “two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push them out.”
The email, sent from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” said they planned to interrupt the Republican Party because they “will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward LGBT, immigrants, people of color, or others.”
“Riseup.net” is a domain often used by far left Portland protesters.
Here’s a look at the announcement by the ironically dubbed “anti fascists” (ANTIFA) who planned to shut down the free speech of Republicans:
The post read in part:
Fascists plan to march through the streets of Portland in the Avenue of Roses Parade on 82nd.
The fascists know that we’ll keep shutting their marches down, they are now planning to march within other parades to protect their message of hate and white supremacy – it WON’T work.
Nazis will not march through Portland.
The group we’re disrupting is #67.
It is registered to the Multnomah County Republicans, but these infiltrators are the same folks from Lake Oswego, Salem, Vancouver, and even Berkeley.
[ … ]
Their Trump flags, their red MAGA hats and their hate group badges are all intended to normalize support for an orange man …
They will attempt to march from the Eastport Plaza to Yamhill, but nazis will not march through our city.
This event is not in opposition to The Avenue of Roses Parade, it is against the fascists who intend to march through our neighborhoods and intimidate our marginalized communities.
By now it’s obvious that “fascists” are people who don’t agree with them.
The post reportedly included this photo of rioters attacking a person wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with a bayonet. That image eems to have been scraped from the page now:
According to online reports there’s one person who is believed to be behind the terroristic threats.
Also, long time citizen journalist Dan Sandini picks up the pieces of the investigation into the person behind the threats:
So this is Jacob Bureros who numerous folks on Facebook are reporting as being the source of threats against Portlands Annual Family Rose Parade. Here Bureros is shown masked and Unmasked, as a part of a violent mob that attacked a peaceful Trump protest in Vancouver Washington. The original video can be found in the Direct Action timeline and on Bureros' timeline. David Bacon Gulliver Lynette Wyrick Jack Peek Sr. Victoria Taft Jayne Carroll Leo Stratton
KATU reports that MCRP chair James Buchal issued a statement and called on Mayor Ted Wheeler to treat this as a criminal matter:
Buchal’s letter said in part:
“This is criminal conduct. The author is threatening, and has already taken overt acts toward organizing the crime of riot: “while participating with five or more other persons the person engages in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally or recklessly creates a grave risk of causing public alarm.” ORS 166.015. At the least what is described is a criminal conspiracy to engage in the crime of disorderly conduct in the second degree….
The MCRP has watched with concern the rising lawlessness in the City of Portland, which has now metastasized to the pony where potential violent criminals are bragging that police are powerless to stop them. The City is not powerless and can easily identify “the email@example.com” and the other members of this criminal conspiracy, and more importantly, take steps to prevent their proposed criminal conduct”
But former MCRP chair Jeff Reynolds KATU that it comes down to this:
“We advocate for candidates and causes that we believe in, just like anybody else in America under the first amendment. We have the right to free assembly, we have the right to free speech and they are forcibly threatening us with terroristic activities.”
That’s the shot, here’s the chaser. These people who cloak themselves in kaffiyeh cloth and balaclavas are the problem. They have conspired to shut up the people with whom they don’t agree. They’re like Lois Lerner but with knives, poles and guns.
We’ve seen them in Berkeley, Lake Oswego, Portland and Seattle.
They used to call this the “heckler’s veto,” but I’ve changed that to the “rioter’s veto.”
Portland District Attorney’s office lawyers, City Hall, and institutional Portland listen up: The people who planned this “terror” plot are the same people who conspired against journalist Michael Strickland to get him off the public stage because he “made fun of them.”
If this doesn’t tell you what you need to know about how dangerous and lawless Portland is and show you the nature of the political prosecution of Strickland then you are Not.Paying.Attention.
Justice for Michael Strickland. You could be next. In fact, based on what just happened Tuesday, you probably are.
One of the reasons why Michael Strickland was found guilty of 21 charges against him for drawing his weapon when thugs assaulted him at a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event is the testimony of one of the very thugs who attacked him.
The people who converged on Strickland, were then sprinkled with jurisprudential pixie dust and magically transformed into victims.
Ben Kerensa, the rotund fabulist who is an accused hacker, confirmed liar and multiple convicted felon, spent most of his hour and a half testifying against Michael Strickland telling whoppers in front of a judge, God and everybody.
I’m highlighting only one of them in this post.
Let’s first, however, seat ourselves in the way-back machine of last July 7th and remember that it was Kerensa who uttered these words:
“I Was There! I’m the reason why he pulled the gun.”
Kerensa was so pleased with himself as he boasted of his participation in the incident off camera to Mike Bluehair in his video of the incident and its aftermath.
And here he was just moments before — going after Strickland. This still shot from Mike Bivins’s Periscope video shows that by the time he came after Strickland one more time (they’d already assaulted him before), he had covered his face:
And here was Kerensa at a Trump gathering at PSU in June of 2016:
And here was one line of questioning at Strickland’s trial:
Kerensa: I was approached by, um, some individuals, that I guess could be described as black bloc anarchist type who pointed him out from the position we were standing at when they approached me and pointed out that he [Strickland] was in the crowd.
DDA: Are you affiliated with black bloc?
DDA: And what does that term, what does that mean?
Kerensa: Um, I’m not an expert at this, but my understanding of it is black bloc…
DDA: Let me ask you a different question. In terms of the way they dress is more I’m asking…
Kerensa: [readily] They wear black clothing, uh, generally and black masks to conceal their identity
DDA: Head to toe all black?
Kerensa: Yeah, everybody similar clothing to make them indistinguishable as individuals.
Kerensa testified he wasn’t part of the anarchist contingent who wear black attire, cover their faces and terrorize people.
We’ve since seen the 300-400 pound man at other events. Recently, he’s taken to going without a mask, such as when he blocked cars at the Portland airport because …. Donald Trump! … and in Salem this past weekend because … Donald Trump!
Maybe he heard me on the live streamed presentation about Strickland saying something like ‘Dude, you’re like 400 pounds, people know who you are with or without that mask.’
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.
Mike Strickland will go on trial on Monday in a Portland, Oregon courtroom for pulling a gun in self defense as a group of anarchists converged upon him while he covered a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX protest on July 7th.
The prosecution has relied upon the testimony of some of the very same people who were converging on Strickland to come up with its 21 count indictment against the journalist.
The prosecution has relied upon hearsay testimony of at least one of their members that somehow Strickland was a “white nationalist.” This was used to keep him in jail longer after his arrest and raise his bail.
The allegation appears to come from Strickland’s coverage of the Portland Community College “Whiteness Conference” which made national news, thanks to the Portland journalist.
During my interviews with several anarchists over the past few months (interviews which will be rolled out later) it came down to this school yard complaint that they didn’t like the way “Laughing at Liberals” held up the mirror and made them look stupid.
It’s just that simple.
When given a chance by the DA to get back at Strickland they seized upon it. And the DA listened.
This is justice? Hearsay complaints about a guy who hurt your feelings? Converging on the guy who hurt your feelings? And then lying to put him in jail?
I spoke to Penny Okamoto of Ceasefire Oregon, an anti-gun rights group which Strickland covered often. Strickland’s arrest confirmed her fears. She told me she thought he was somehow dangerous but couldn’t tell me why. She complained about how he covered her events, how he sometimes mocked her group, but could not name one time in which Strickland was dangerous.
She has the ear of the DA.
As one professional protester told me, anarchists conspired to ‘get’ Strickland last July 7th:
“There were a bunch of people from Anonymous that walked around and who said they were going up ‘contact’ him walked and all of a sudden I seen him come out of the protest with a group of people behind him. There was yelling back and forth.
Basically [Strickland] was yelling, ‘Stay away from me, stay away from me!’
I believe there were threats toward him.
He’s someone that a lot of activists don’t like.”
I asked why they didn’t like him:
“It goes all the way back to Occupy. He’ll talk about and make fun of protests like that. That’s what people talk about with him. They say he’s an agitator. That if there’s a protest then he’ll find something to make fun of.”
Ben Kerensa came after ‘Occupy.’ So what was his beef with Strickland?
This video was produced after 340,000 plus people looked at another of Strickland’s posts:
They saw Kerensa in the background and couldn’t help note the obvious, that it isn’t necessary for Kerensa to cover his face as an anarchist because he’s the only one who looks like that at Portland protests:
When I talked to the anarchists for an upcoming series of reports, they said it was this video that got Kerensa riled up.
For the record, they thought it was funny.
Is it nice? No. Is it a reason to beat someone up? No. Is it illegal? No.
The night Strickland pulled his gun, Kerensa boasted that he made him to do it.
And Monday, Strickland goes on trial for his freedom–all because of the hurt feelings of some Portland protesters.
Next: Who are Strickland’s other accusers and how Portlanders are getting tired of these protesters.
In October of 2003, then 19-year-old Benjamin Kerensa was an angry man. Nothing much has changed between then and now.
The 11th grade drop out was proficient at coding and had appeared to have become beguiled by the computer and online culture of Silicon Valley.
When he came to his volunteer job for a San Francisco mayoral candidate Jim Reid, co-workers remembered that he spent time on the computer and eating the food donated to the campaign.
Kerensa told the candidate he was homeless and appreciated the his stance on the prolific homelessness issues that continue to confront San Francisco. He was said to be an “enthusiastic” volunteer and kept the office open “day and night.”
But his online life wasn’t so sanguine. When Kerensa was given only limited credentials to attend the prestigious Oracle World computer confab in San Francisco, the 19-year-old apparently thought, ‘Well, if I can’t go, they can’t go.’
He called in a bomb threat to the Moscone Convention Center. The entire place, including the thousands assembled for Oracle World as well as other conventioneers, were evacuated.
And it wasn’t a one-off. While San Francisco Police told me the reports from the incident were difficult to get their hands on, an article on the bomb threat at the time made clear that Kerensa was a pro at this.
Kerensa made threats to his former employer, the AMC 1000 Theater, the Moscone Center, a building at the UN Plaza, a federal building and the Navy vessel, the USS Cleveland. And he did it all from the mayoral candidate’s office:
The threats were lodged in computer messages to the FBI and the Police Department on an electronic network run by MCI that is designed to help hearing-impaired people make telephone calls over the computer via the Internet. Authorities said they were hindered in their investigation by the confidentiality that had been afforded to users of the system. Managers of the service, IP-Relay.com, did not return calls seeking comment.
The threats began with a series of telephonic messages against the AMC 1000 Theater on Aug. 27, prompting the evacuation of 1,000 moviegoers.
New threats were made to the theater Aug. 30, two days after a pair of pipe bombs exploded at Chiron Corp.’s Emeryville headquarters. The threats said a bomb would go off “just like the Emeryville explosion,” authorities said.
Kerensa went to federal prison in Lompoc for several years for the threats:
“Strickland drew his legally obtained and licensed concealed Glock pistol, never placing his finger on the trigger, but drew down on the people advancing toward him, stopping what he believed was going to be an attack. He withdrew, walking backwards away from the threat and holstered his weapon when he believed the immediate threat was over.
Since then, the Portland area journalist has been jailed, his tools of his trade–cameras, recording equipment and his own recordings, which are exculpatory evidence in his case, have been confiscated–and Strickland has been ordered to stop working in journalism, thus depriving him of his ability to make a living.
This heavy-handed attack on the rights on one man has been done by the Multnomah County District Attorney and is due to what some involved in the case believe is a political agenda.
Absurdly, the case is also based on the testimony by some of the very people who were rushing to attack Strickland.”
And now Kerensa and some of the very same bad actors who had roughed up Strickland before and were coming back for more are depicted by the Multnomah County DA’s Office as ‘victims.’
But, the prosecution’s faith in Kerensa to tell the truth is belied by his criminal past and the fact that he has a personal grudge against Strickland. More on that next time.
Cameron Whitten, a Portland activist who’s been out every night during these planned protests, was near the Morrison Bridge where the shooting of a protester took place and said witnesses told him the shooters were part of the squad of protesters looting, vandalizing and tagging during the protests.
I was monitoring two of the live streams last night in Portland riots.
The fauxtest was aimless and the message was the usual pap. The usual hey, hey, ho, ho, “we’re here, we’re queer” etc.. Donald Trump’s election was just the latest excuse to commit acts of chaos by the left.
According to people interviewed, groups of people were trained for the protest/riot.
They were allowed to take over roads, bridges etc.
At times, the police declared the gatherings ‘riot’ which is a declaration that the gathering is illegal. Then they tried to redirect the protesters.
Sometimes protesters/rioters followed directions-such as getting on the sidewalk.
There were people who clearly came downtown to spectate and mock the protesters–which is their right.
According to GOP spokesman Kevin Hoar the law abiding won’t take this neglect of the rule of law anymore:
“Set down a marker in Blue Oregon that Tuesday’s Election Result showed we’re not going to just sit quietly and take it anymore. We’re going to call out the protesters for their criminal behavior, public officials for abusing their power and the Democrat machine condoning it with their silence if not vocal encouragement – and all of them for their hypocrisy.”
He should have known this because they ALWAYS get out of control.
It’s time for Portland “leaders” to stop fueling division–
I’m talking to you, Charlie Hales. Here’s a post that Cody McLaughlin found from Hales’s Special Assistant.
As McLaughlin put it:
“A pretty high ranking member of the Charlie Hales administration (current mayor of Portland, kid’s title is Special Assistant to the Mayor and Policy Advisor) is encouraging and vowing to join into the civil unrest over the Trump election, says “he would rather have a constitutional crisis” than Trump as president and all the while the protests he is encouraging have just been upgraded to riots by the police in the city he is supposed to serve.”
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.
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.