An Indiana man has been arrested in connection with a firebomb thrown at a police car while protests in Portland were in full swing last summer.
Malik Muhammed, 24, was arrested on Friday and charged with attempted aggravated murder, attempted first degree sexual assault, attempted first degree murder, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and other crimes.
The incident that occurred during a Black Lives Matter protest on Sept. 21 was documented by a Portland police officer who was in a vehicle used to broadcast warnings and loud sounds to protesters as the burning object approached him.
Malik Fard Muhammed, 24, was arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana based on multiple arrests, including attempted murder and other charges of two firebomb attacks
The officer jumped out of the car and found a beer grumbler made into a Molotov cocktail, a burnt rag put in his mouth. The firebomb did not go off.
According to court documents, that bottle provided important evidence that helped lead to charges against Muhammed, who, according to authorities, had come to Portland for protests.
It is one of the most serious lawsuits to emerge from the protracted protests that rocked Portland last year.
A previously classified 28-count indictment describes how agents investigated the unexploded incendiary bomb.
Thanks to a price tag, they were able to trace the beer grommet to the store where it was bought.
A video was made of the incident where a Molotov cocktail exploded when thrown at Portland police and then put out in September. 23, 2020
Portland police evade a Molotov cocktail in unrest that followed the grand jury’s decision in the Louisville Breonna Taylor case in Portland, Oregon
Surveillance video showed Muhammed and his girlfriend buying growlers and bats, Multnomah County deputy district attorney Keven Demer said in an affidavit.
DNA samples from the unexploded firebomb had “an extremely strong comparison” to Mohammed, Demer said.
Two days later, on September 23, another Molotov cocktail was thrown at a protest in the Justice Center building in downtown Portland.
It exploded when it hit the ground, creating a large fireball and shooting flames on an officer’s leg, Demer said. Multiple videos show Muhammed throwing the device, he added.
Portland Police are walking past a fire caused by a Molotov cocktail being thrown at the police
Muhammed reportedly dropped a firebomb in Portland on September 23, 2020 that scorched a police officer’s uniform.
On top of that, Muhammed was also determined to be responsible for throwing another Molotov cocktail that didn’t go on September 21, 2020.
“Anyone who thinks they can get away by trying to kill police officers and destroy this town should think again,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement announcing Muhammed’s arrest. “More studies are underway.”
FBI agents apparently mingled with protesters in an attempt to track down those who were violent.
During another protest the following month, on Oct. 11, FBI agents in plain clothes saw Muhammed, dressed all in black but with distinctive red-and-gray gloves, using a metal stick to cut panes of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, and break several companies. , Demer’s affidavit says.
The information was passed on to police officers. They chased the suspect, who allegedly dumped a loaded gun, and was found with a loaded magazine in his pocket that could fit in the gun, authorities said. Illegal possession of a firearm is another of the charges Mohammed faces.
A Portland police officer extinguishes the flames of a Molotov cocktail in the unrest that followed the grand jury’s decision in the Louisville Breonna Taylor case last September.
Protesters demanding an end to police brutality against black people take cover from smoke during a rally in Portland last September
Muhammed could receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. He is being held on $ 3 million bail
Demer noted that Muhammed can face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years if convicted and that he poses a flight risk. He asked the court to set bail at $ 3 million.
Judge Leslie Bottomly declined the request and instead ordered Muhammad to be detained.
Portland has seen demonstrations since George Floyd died in May after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
Last summer there were demonstrations of more than 100 days in a row.
Demonstrations have sometimes attracted up to 10,000 people to peaceful marches and gatherings in the city. But some protesters have turned to violence increasingly targeting the courthouse and other federal properties with 27 riots declared in the space of four months.
Portland endured more than 100 nights of riots during last summer’s protest over racial inequality and police brutality, the ramifications of which are still raw
Last summer, there were more than 100 nights of riots during which protesters were gassed and shot with rubber bullets by the city’s police.
Some protesters threw rocks, stones and other projectiles at officers, with police responding by firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
At the time, the Trump administration sent federal agents to quell the unrest, but the stakes had the opposite effect, stimulating protesters who found a new rallying point in their opposition to the federal presence.
Many of the federal tactical teams were wearing combat gear, but their deployment sparked an inflammatory response, especially after footage of protesters being grabbed from the street by federal agents and stopped in unmarked cars.
Mayor Ted Wheeler recently condemned what he described as a segment of violent agitators who undermine the message of police accountability and should receive tougher sentences.
Inflamed by the arrival of federal officers and right-wing militias, including the so-called Proud Boys, the protests turned deadly.
Portland was the epicenter of protests in 2020 with at least 200 nights of demonstrations, 30 nights of rioting and about 1,000 arrests. (File photo of July)
A protester waves US flags in front of federal agents after tear gas was deployed during a riot in Portland in July