By now many of you know that Mike Strickland, a pro-gun, freelance journalist was convicted of 21 counts of self defense on Friday, Feb.10.
Strickland had been attacked by a mob in Portland while covering a "Black Lives Matter" protest. The attack was planned and coordinated in advance.
You can read more about it here. Victoria Taft has done an outstanding job of documenting the attack and the trial and you can see that here.
In truth, Mike was convicted the moment he was arrested by Portland Police for defending himself against the same kind of mobsters who have trashed Portland repeatedly. Their criminal actions are rarely punished by a county "Justice System " that encourages rioting and looting but creates political prisoners of people who attempt to defend themselves from criminal attack.
From the moment he was arraigned it was clear the fix was in. As soon as the D.A.'s office in Multnomah County realized who Mike was, they began to assure he would never get a fair trial. And they succeeded.
Mike's bail was set at an astonishing and unprecedented quarter of a million dollars!
The D.A.'s office made open and absurd accusations about him to the press. They said he was a "white nationalist" and a "racist." All of it was lies. But what would you expect from a county whose D.A. is a rabid advocate for gun restrictions? D.A. Rod Underhill has testified in favor of gun control bills in Salem and is a proud member of an anti-gun prosecutor's organization.
Multnomah County is also home to Judge Kenneth Walker who said (in open court) "If I could I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges and go dump them in the ocean. Nobody would have a gun. Not police, not security, not anybody. We should eliminate all of them."
All complaints about Walker's clear bias against the Constitutions of the United States and Oregon were dismissed. Oregon's Commission on Judicial Fitness found nothing wrong with Walker's outburst.
When it came time to seat a jury it became clear very quickly that the chances of getting impartial jurists in Multnomah County were almost zero. Only two of the potential jurors believed it was ok to have a firearm for self protection. Both would be eliminated by the prosecutors.
Michael's lawyers made the decision to dispense with the jury and opted for a bench trial. They understood their only hope was a fair and honest judge. They hoped for too much.
As the trial proceeded, everyone: Michael, his lawyers, and supporters in the courtroom were optimistic and confident. The prosecution witnesses either admitted their criminal plans or were quickly proven to be liars. Everything seemed to be going Mike's way. But, after all, this is Multnomah County, the county that says your car and your front porch are "public places." The county that rewards rioters and elects child molesters.
On Thursday, it appeared the trial was over. A use of force expert had testified that Michael's actions were reasonable. Everyone was sure that Michael would prevail. Then the Multnomah County D.A. announced that they were going to have another surprise witness on Friday to testify that Mike's use of "force" was criminal. The observers and Mike's lawyers were stunned by this last minute ambush witness.
Keep in mind that Mike's "criminal" actions consisted solely of drawing a lawfully possessed firearm in the face of a mob of armed attackers and backing away without ever placing his finger on the trigger.
The ambush witness was Ryan Rasmussen, a Gresham cop who was not at the scene of the attack but agreed (for reasons yet to be determined) to come in at the 11th hour and testify that drawing your gun in the face of an attacking mob is not "reasonable."
Within a minute of the closing arguments, after Rasmussen finished his attacks on Strickland, Judge Thomas Ryan found him guilty on all 21 counts. Mike, his lawyers and supporters were astonished.
Keep in mind, in Oregon there is no duty to retreat from attackers. But the D.A. and their hired gun witness said Michael's behavior was criminal because he did not run away. In fact, multiple videos of the event show very, very clearly that Strickland was making every attempt to back away. Incredibly, the DA attacked Mike because, after he felt he was safely away from his attackers, he holstered his gun!
A Portland Police Sgt. who was part of the squad that arrested Michael told us he thought everything Mike did was correct. But none of that mattered. Strickland's long history of exposing the hypocrisy and tyranny of the left in Oregon meant he had to be made an example of. They had the power to silence him and chill anyone else who dared shine a light on them and they used it.
This case is about so much more than Mike. If this conviction stands, self defense in Multnomah County, and soon all of Oregon, will be a dead issue. The prosecution attacked Mike because he had backup ammo! They attacked him because he did not "run away" when in fact he did. They told lies about him to taint the jury pool and build up hatred for him in the press. Who among us is next?
If ever there was a clear cut case of self defense, this was it. But a leftist, activist judge in a leftist county decided to ignore the facts and the law and condemn Mike for doing what any rational person in his position would have done.
Multnomah County has sent a message loud and clear. If you riot, attack people and destroy property, you will be protected. If you try to defend yourself from criminals, you will be convicted and jailed. It is simple insanity.
What Judge Ryan and D.A. Underhill have said is this. "If you come to Multnomah County and a gang of thugs attacks you, lie down and take the beating. If you are not killed, you will be better off than if you defend yourself and we get ahold of you."
Because of many wonderful donors, OFF was able to contribute generously to Mike's defense. Now we have no choice but to appeal. If we don't, no one is safe and a precedent has been set for the rest of the state. Politically motivated judges and D.A.'s can ignore the law with impunity. We will sink into anarchy.
Please consider helping us help Mike and all rational people who want to be able to protect themselves from the thugs who thrive in Portland. This is going to be an expensive fight and we are going to need all the help we can get.
Every single dime you donate goes directly to Mike's defense. This battle is not just about injustice to one man. This fight is about all of us.
You can make a secure donation on line here. Please use any available box to indicate your contribution is for Mike Strickland. Time is short and this is an absolutely critical battle.