PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson turned himself in to law enforcement Friday and was booked into jail in connection with a brawl outside a Portland bar on May Day.
Gibson’s lawyer confirmed Thursday that Gibson was facing a felony charge of rioting and said they learned of the charge through a “malfunction” on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s website.
Gibson addressed the media before entering the Multnomah County Justice Center. He said that he has never been violent at any protest or rally he’s attended, including the fight at Cider Riot in northeast Portland that followed May Day rallies downtown on May 1.
Gibson is accusing the district attorney’s office of filing a “politically motivated” felony charge against him and said it’s an attack on his First Amendment rights.
FOX 12 reached out to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office multiple times regarding Gibson’s case Thursday, but was told by a spokesman, “The DA’s office is not confirming the charge. We will not be releasing any further statement.”
The Portland Police Bureau released information Friday saying, "Detectives assigned to the Portland Police Bureau's Assault Detail worked with the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office to obtain this warrant, which was authorized by a judge. This is an on-going investigation and no further details are available for release."
On Friday, a district attorney's spokesman also said no further information was being released due to the ongoing investigation.
Gibson was booked into the Multnomah County Jail at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the charge of riot, a Class C felony, according to the jail website. He later posted bail and was released.
Police said as many as 60 people were involved in the fight outside Cider Riot that involved members of Gibson’s group and Antifa. Multiple arrests have recently been made in connection with that investigation.
The bar’s owner filed a lawsuit against Gibson.
Gibson’s lawyer, who is also the Multnomah County GOP chair, said that by Oregon law, a felony riot charge requires proof of “tumultuous and violent conduct.”
He said, although there are multiple videos of the vents outside Cider Riot on May 1, none of them show Gibson engaging in violent conduct.
This latest development comes as rallies and protests are expected to take place Saturday in downtown Portland.
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