Man gets 10 years for violent actions during Oregon protests

An Indiana man accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at police in Portland, Oregon, and smashing windows during 2020 protests against police brutality has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Malik Muhammad, 25, first faced dozens of charges in state and federal courts over protests he joined after traveling from Indianapolis to Portland.

He pleaded guilty to 14 felonies, including attempted murder on Tuesday as part of a plea deal, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. Muhammad also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to two counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device in connection with the same protests. No additional prison sentence is provided for in this sentence.

He traveled to Portland from his Indianapolis home in August 2020 to engage in violence during the city’s mass protests in September and October, prosecutors said.

Muhammad was charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail that landed near a police vehicle on September 5, 2020 in southeast Portland and throwing a similar device at a line of downtown officers later that month that caught fire in an officer’s pant leg, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

In October 2020, Muhammad is accused of smashing the windows of the Oregon Historical Society and a Portland State University building with a metal baton.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht called the plea deal a “balanced and fair outcome,” noting that prosecutors considered mitigating information about Muhammad. Court documents say he is a US Army veteran who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as bipolar disorder. At the time of the protests, Muhammad was not taking medication.

“We commit as a community to not just reduce, but end the historic repression and discrimination that has overburdened communities of color and we pledge to do so peacefully,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht also ordered Muhammad to pay $200,000 in restitution.

Under the agreement, Muhammad will serve his sentence in an Oregon Department of Corrections prison rather than a federal facility.


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Sandy A. Greer