Man who displayed gun at downtown Portland protest arrested - KPTV - FOX 12

Man who displayed gun at downtown Portland protest arrested

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Mugshot: Michael Strickland Mugshot: Michael Strickland
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Police have arrested a man after they say he pulled a gun during a protest in downtown Portland on Thursday. 

FOX 12 cameras were there as a man taking pictures got into an argument with protesters before pulling out a gun. He held it out in front of him for a moment, then put it back in his waistband.

Later, he explained what he says happened.

"What happened was there were about 10 or 12 people that surrounded me," the man said. "They started pushing and shoving me. They were using their flag staffs as weapons. I’m backing up, they kept coming towards me. They kept coming towards me. That’s why I drew … I was outnumbered, they were pushing and shoving me. They were using their flag staffs as weapons. I was backing up, they kept coming towards me.  I feared for my life because I was outnumbered and they had weapons."

Minutes later, a SWAT team arrived.

The man who was seen pulling out the gun was pushed down to the ground by police and he was taken into custody. Police have identified the suspect as 36-year-old Michael Strickland.

Protests at the Pioneer Courthouse Square started more peacefully Thursday night.

Thousands of people marched through downtown streets for hours.

The Portland Police Bureau advised drivers to avoid the downtown area due to the demonstrations.

Protesters also shut down the west side of the Morrison Bridge as they continued their demonstrations.

New chief Mike Marshman sent a message to the Portland Police Bureau's members Thursday.

He said he understands the fear and anger the recent shootings have raised and asked officers to acknowledge the emotional response to these shootings and to continue to build trust and work with the community.

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