Gun-waving suspect indicted following Portland Black Lives Matte - KPTV - FOX 12

Gun-waving suspect indicted following Portland Black Lives Matter rally incident

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A man accused of illegally waving a loaded gun at a Portland Black Lives Matter rally was indicted Friday on 21 counts of criminal charges by a Multnomah County Grand Jury.

Michael Strickland faces felony charges of unlawful use of a firearm, among other charges.

Prosecutors said he pointed his gun at several people during the July 7 rally downtown. No shots were fired, but police responded and arrested him.

Strickland said he was at the event as a journalist filming for YouTube. He told Fox 12 that during the march he was threatened when several people began shoving and pushing him. He said they were using their flagstaffs as weapons and that’s when he pulled out his gun.

Police said Strickland was also carrying five magazines and a knife.

Following a court appearance Friday morning, Strickland’s lawyer told reporters his client is innocent and several video recordings taken during the incident show what happened.

“It’s going to be question of, what does the second amendment actually do?” said Chris Trotter of Short Law Group. “This will be a bit of a litmus test for what does that mean anymore? Does it mean that you have a right to protect yourself? Or is there no point in having your second amendment rights?” 

“He is not guilty,” Trotter said. “He was using the weapon to protect himself, and he was doing so within his rights.”

Following the incident, Portland Community College and Portland State University both announced Strickland is banned from their campuses.

With a grand jury indictment, the case now awaits trial unless Strickland changes his plea or a plea deal is struck.

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