Convicted for the Crime of Self-Defense in Portland

Anarchists recognize Mike Strickland, pushed him around, and ordered him to leave.
Anarchists recognize Mike Strickland, pushed him around, and ordered him to leave.
Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A video journalist in Oregon is facing hard time for brandishing a gun to defend himself from an angry mob.

The journalist, Michael Strickland, was covering a Black Lives Matter protest march in Portland on July 7, 2016 – the same day that a BLM supporter in Dallas murdered 5 police officers and injured 9 others, along with 2 civilians during a BLM march in that city.

Strickland is a fixture at left-wing events, and is well-known among organizers and participants for his mocking YouTube channel called Laughing at Liberals. His activities are not popular with these groups, or with local politicians, and at some recent events, protesters have violently confronted him.

In the past he has been physically assaulted, sustaining a broken arm, and has had camera equipment stolen.

During the Portland July 7, 2016 protest, a mob of masked, black-clad “anarchists” spotted Strickland, pushed him around, and ordered him to leave.

Obese man wearing a black skull mask rushed Mike Strickland.
Obese man wearing a black skull mask rushed Mike Strickland.

An attempt was made to take his camera away, but Strickland extricated himself and moved down the street. A few minutes later, the “free speech” activists again confronted Strickland. This time a tall, obviously angry man was the central figure bearing down on and confronting him.

Several other reporters in the area tried to calm the advancing protesters, as Strickland again attempted to retreat, but as he moved away, the tall, muscular man shrugged off his backpack and moved aggressively toward Strickland.

At the same time, an obese man wearing a black skull mask who had been among the group that had initially assaulted Strickland, rushed forward on Strickland's left flank.

At this point, Strickland took a few quick steps backwards, yelling “Back off!” and drawing a Glock 9mm, which he first pointed in the general direction of the obese man, then swung back toward the tall muscular fellow. As soon as the rush subsided, Strickland re-holstered the handgun while continuing to back away.

A reporter said something to him, and Strickland stopped retreating long enough to express to the reporter that he thought the protesters were about to attack him, mentioning that some were brandishing heavy poles with black flags on them.

Strickland cautiously retreated, while the protesters continued to follow him. Some reporters and protesters worked to keep everyone back so Strickland could safely get away without anyone getting hurt. Finally Strickland got around the corner to an area where a group of Portland Police officers in riot gear had gathered. They immediately took him to the ground and arrested him.

Police asked members of the crowd whether they had witnessed the events. Then they asked if anyone present had felt directly threatened by the man with the gun. The first person to step up to declare himself a victim was the same obese man who had been helping to instigate the confrontation. He was later a star witness for the prosecution.

Mike Strickland : The videos clearly show a man in fear of imminent, grave bodily harm taking action to prevent that harm.
Mike Strickland : The videos clearly show a man in fear of imminent, grave bodily harm taking action to prevent that harm.

Strickland was cited on two misdemeanor counts of Menacing and Disorderly Conduct, and released on his own recognizance that night. The next day the charges were upped to include two felony counts of Misuse of a Weapon. Bail was set at $250,000 based on false claims that Strickland was a “counter-protester” and some sort of white supremacist.

When prosecutors and city officials – many of whom had been “victims” of Strickland's biting videos at Laughing at Liberals – realized who Strickland was, the charges began stacking up.

He was eventually indicted, tried, and convicted on 10 felony counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, 10 counts of Menacing, and one count of Disorderly Conduct. He will be sentenced in May, and faces in excess of 50 years in prison. None of the people who attacked him have been charged.

All of the altercation was captured on video from multiple angles (videos found here), but few of those videos have surfaced. Strickland's own video of the events was seized by the police and has not been released. Part of it was shown in court, but it has not been made available to the public. What is available is cluttered and confusing – as, no doubt, was the actual event. The videos clearly show several people crowding and menacing over Strickland, then aggressively moving toward him until the gun appears and they back off.

Mike Strickland : The videos clearly show several people crowding and menacing over Strickland, then aggressively moving toward him until the gun appears and they back off.
Mike Strickland : The videos clearly show several people crowding and menacing over Strickland, then aggressively moving toward him until the gun appears and they back off.

Strickland's lawyers, convinced that a fair trial could not be had in extremely “liberal” Multnoma County, asked for a change of venue, but that was denied. When the jury pool proved to be exactly as expected, the lawyers advised waiving the jury trial and taking the case directly to the judge. Hindsight suggests that was a mistake, as the judge declared that Strickland was not being threatened and was not justified in deploying his handgun.

One of the organizers of the BLM protest admitted during testimony at the trial that a group of enforcers had been tasked with keeping Strickland away from the protest – by force if necessary.

As someone knowledgeable about firearms and self-defense, I think Mr. Strickland made some questionable decisions that day, but I believe the videos clearly show a man in fear of imminent, grave bodily harm taking action to prevent that harm.

Much of this case is reminiscent of prosecutors blaming a rape victim for dressing provocatively and walking in a seedy neighborhood after dark. The conclusion seems to be that Mr. Strickland brought this all upon himself by posting controversial videos, carrying a gun, and going where he knew people hated him. His greatest offense appears to have been that of being an outspoken conservative in a liberal community.

In Portland, conservative lives don't matter.

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation rights activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His writing can regularly be seen in Firearms News and Front Sight magazines as well as here on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News and other publications.

FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

Founded in 1984 by legendary hero of the rights movement, and Jeff’s dad, Neal Knox, The Firearms Coalition represents hundreds of grass roots organizations, clubs, and individual Second Amendment activists around the country. The Coalition has been behind the scenes in the forefront of the fight for rights for over 32 years, with Jeff serving as managing director of the organization since 2005.

To learn more about The Firearms Coalition, or to subscribe to their newsletter, the Hard Corps Report, visit their website at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 17 thoughts on “Convicted for the Crime of Self-Defense in Portland

    1. Maybe the new President will change the charge the innocent, let the criminals go– way of life in AMERICA.. Gee that would be a means of making AMERICA GREAT again.

    2. To those saying his lawyer failed him for not requesting a change of venue, actually the lawyer did and it was denied. http://www.victoriataft.com/journalist-charged-pulling-gun-stop-anarchist-attack-denied-change-venue/ Mr Strickland’s case is almost exactly the same as a case that was settled in Multinomah courts around the same time where a gentleman was being harassed on the streets by a homeless man who was charging, he pulled his ccw and the man stopped charging. http://www.victoriataft.com/stevan-blagojevic-not-guilty-gun-strickland-laughing-at-liberals/ Did the courts absolutely eff Mr Strickland, yup, but clearly they had an agenda based on who he is and his reporting. When the prosecution witnesses admit that Mr Strickland was not only known to the protest group but that they had “enforcers” to keep him from reporting on the protest, by force if necessary, it should have been an open and shut case in favor of Mr Strickland.

    3. They set him up, big time.

      This should go in his favor in appeal court, the ‘victim’ should be prosecuted for perjury.

      Police asked members of the crowd whether they had witnessed the events. Then they asked if anyone present had felt directly threatened by the man with the gun. The first person to step up to declare himself a victim was the same obese man who had been helping to instigate the confrontation. He was later a star witness for the prosecution.

    4. felony “misuse of a weapon”? Making an advancing, immediate threat back-off is not a misuse of a weapon, it is a prudent move to protect your life and your body from an advancing real threat without USING the protection. When actually using a firearm it is FIRED. Should he first wait until they proceed to pound on him and then he might loose the ability to defend himself? He canceled the immediate threat without harming anyone, and remember, he was not the originating aggressor. It looks like a stand your ground situation here. If he turned and ran they could have taken him down and really beat him. He canceled the threat to his bodily harm and NO ONE was injured. The aggressors should have been arrested for threatening harm to Strickland and Strickland should be free. Liberals/Progressives don’t like you having the ability to protect yourself and they want you to rely on the police,…… and where were they when he needed them? So, in most cases you are left with protecting yourself just like Strickland had to do. I have nothing against the police, that is just the way things are in this world.

      1. You don’t have anything against the police??!!! Why not? Instead of taking a stand, they went right along with their bureaucratic masters. This particular department is nothing more than the enforcers of tyranny. Their names should be etched in infamy, for all patriots to look upon with utter contempt. I’m pretty certain that each and every one of them took an oath to our Constitution. Clearly, they lied.

        1. You do make a very sharp point about their oaths of office, etc. …Not all cops are bad though. We should all examine our own personal or professional thing of “just following orders” (to keep our job), to see if it is consistent with our Freedoms guaranteed here in the U.S.A. and go with the side of Freedom over those crazy “make a criminal” regulations/laws especially when their is no victim/no crime and a no injury situation.?

        2. their conduct in the instance of Mr. Strickland is consistent with their conduct during the entire run of riots. WHERE WERE THEY when thugs were busitng windows, trashing cars, beating folks, throwing firebombs, destroying two dozen cars at a dealership, perpetrating arson… I’ll tell you.. same place the “finest” of Baltimore, Ferguson, LA were during their riots, and Chicago most of the time.

          We have some VERY corrupt coppers in Portland.

    5. Don’t you know you are supposed to wait until your just short of dead before you defend your self. Even police will not do anything to protect the innocent in mob situations.

      1. ESPECIALLY PPB’s “finest” My experiences with them has been far less than favourable… and I have not been in trouble with the law in decades.

        Nope, many PPB members are serious contenders against NYC’s and Chitcago’s “finest” for Dirtbag of the Year award.

        WHERE were they when Mr. Strickland was being pushed and shoved (assault) and harrassed, being forced away from a place where he had every right to be present?

        I’ll tell you where they wereL dreaming up some juicey charges to lay against him because they had their patsy.

    6. I am curious Mr. Knox, what questionable decisions did Strickland make? His attorneys made wrong decisions but
      Strickland can’t be blamed for that. Unless you are implying he should not have done his job and covered the protest as an independent journalist/videographer? Or do you believe he should have allowed himself to be hit over the head with a shovel like the Trump supporter at the Berkeley protest/riot?

    7. This ‘video journalist’ (whatever that is) proves beyond all doubt you can’t fix stupid. ‘Questionable decisions’? That is like claiming the captain of the Titanic made some ‘questionable decisions’.

    8. SuperG..I feel the same way. There is an attorney in Boise, Idaho that is a firearm attorney, she is very well known for her 2A support and litigation skills throughout the firearm industry, she also published a book titled “Infringed” ..Alex Kincaid Law. I sent an e-mail to her firm asking for help on Strickland’s issue after his conviction and offered a couple thousand to get the ball rolling. I have not heard back from her firm. You can check her out on YouTube as well. Maybe it would help if more people ask her. Jeff

    9. Sadly, Strickland has an idiot for an attorney. He didn’t file a change of venue motion and waived his client’s right to a jury trial, knowing full well he was in ultra-liberal Multnomah County. I’ve had a judge in that county allow someone on probation to harass me, which is why I moved away years ago. There are no protections there for honest people, and the police refuse to enforce the laws on the books. I contributed to his defense, and I will contribute to his appeal, only if I know he’s getting a new attorney.

      1. Did you read the article? I am guessing not. I have quoted for your convenience:

        “Strickland’s lawyers, convinced that a fair trial could not be had in extremely “liberal” Multnoma County, asked for a change of venue, but that was denied.”

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