A conservative videographer-journalist was found guilty on 21 charges yesterday for pulling an handgun and pointing it at a group of protestors. He’d claimed self-defense, but the judge didn’t buy it.
A man who pulled out a gun at a Don’t Shoot Portland march and pointed it at a crowd of protesters in downtown was found guilty Friday of 21 felony and misdemeanor crimes.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan found Michael Aaron Strickland, 37, guilty of 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of second-degree disorderly conduct for pointing his Glock semi-automatic handgun at 10 protesters.
During the weeklong trial, prosecutors argued that Strickland didn’t have a reasonable fear that he was in imminent danger of getting hurt.
Strickland, who had a concealed weapons permit, claimed self-defense. He contended some protesters and anarchists wearing masks and carrying flagpoles had called him a racist, told him to leave, aggressively advanced toward him and pushed him. Some of the confrontation was caught on video — including Strickland’s own.
Strickland can be heard saying “Get the hell back!” before pulling out his gun.
Based upon the video of the confrontation (above), I’m inclined to agree with the prosecutor. I saw no justification for Strickland to draw his pistol and point it directly at protestors based on their actions. While the crowd may have been hostile and even menacing, they’d done nothing I saw that justified Strickland drawing and aiming his weapon in “self-defense” as he claimed.
He overreacted, and sadly, that overreaction has now left him in a position for facing up to 50 years for pointing a gun at a crowd.