Gun arrest mars peaceful Don't Shoot Portland rally
UPDATE: 36-year-old man had Glock handgun with five extra magazines
Portland police arrested a man who pulled a gun at a Don't Shoot Portland rally in downtown Portland Thursday evening, where hundreds of people had gathered.
Michael Strickland, 36, of Southeast Portland is charged with menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was not a protester but is the conservative activist who contributes to the Progressives Today blog and he has a YouTube channel called LaughingAtLiberals. He was arrested after pulling a handgun from a holster and waving it at people.
Strickland told police he was filming the rally and march in front of the downtown Justice Center when some of the marchers "went after him," according to court records. Police said Strickland was armed with a Glock 26 handgun with what police said was "an extremely large magazine."
According to court records, police also found a pocketknife and five extra magazines for the handgun in Stricklands possession. Standard Glock magazines usually hold 10 rounds of ammunition.
Police said the incident began at about 5:52 p.m., July 7, when a plainclothes officer in the crowd of marchers near Southwest Third Avenue and Main Street saw several people run past him in Chapman Square yelling about a man with a gun. The officer saw a man later identified as Strickland pointing his gun at the crowd and making a sweeping motion for four or five seconds before replacing the firearm in his belt holster. Strickland kept his hand on the gun as he stood on the pavement.
One man told police he recognized Strickland from past rallies and told him to leave. Strickland had been taking video of the event when a few people in the crowd confronted him.
Strickland was arraigned Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, and faces $250,000 in bail. His next court appearance is 9:30 a.m. July 18.
Hours after Strickland's arrest, several hundred people in a separate march were prevented from crossing the Morrison Bridge by riot gear-clad police. Police closed the bridge and tried to convince the crowd to disperse. The marchers eventually left the area after about 11 p.m.
The Don't Shoot Portland rally was aimed at two recent police shootings in Baton Rouge, La., and suburban Minneapolis. While the Portland rally and march were going on, a sniper shot 12 police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five. Dallas police shot and killed the sniper after a standoff. Three other people are in custody.
Don't Shoot Portland planned the rally and march to draw attention to the police shootings. The mass killings of black Americans must end now! the group posted on its Facebook page. Tonight come to Pioneer Square for a solidarity protest against police brutality."
Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told KOIN 6 News that officers would monitor the rally and march and that there was "no indication or expectation of any problems.
Reporters Jim Redden, Kevin Harden and KOIN 6 News contributed to this story.