Man caught on camera pulling gun at Portland protest facing felo - KPTV - FOX 12

Man caught on camera pulling gun at Portland protest facing felony charges

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Michael Strickland was caught on camera pulling out a gun at Thursday night’s Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Portland, and now he is behind bars facing two felony charges.

Strickland was initially arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, but Friday the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office also charged him with two felonies, saying he is a danger to the community.

Strickland, 36, appeared calm in court, a stark contrast to the panic he seemed to be in when he claims protesters converged on him during demonstrations in downtown Portland.

Strickland said he is a journalist and he was recording video for YouTube. After backpedaling for several minutes, telling people to back off, Strickland pulled out a handgun.

“What happened was there were 10 or 12 people that surrounded me. They started pushing and shoving me. They were using their flagstaffs as weapons,” he told FOX 12 prior to his arrest Thursday. “I’m backing up. They kept coming towards me, they kept coming towards me. That’s why I drew.”

 Some people at the scene Thursday tried to separate Strickland from the crowd before police arrived.

Officers said they found a gun on Strickland, along with a pocket knife and five extra magazines.

Although Strickland has no prior criminal history, the district attorney said he confronted a person attending a vigil for the Orlando shooting last month and later harassed them with racially based threats.

The judge ordered Strickland to be taken back into custody.

Speaking with FOX 12, Strickland contends he felt he was in danger.

“I feared for my life because I was outnumbered and they had weapons,” he said.

Strickland is being held in jail on $250,000 bail.

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