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Indiana man sentenced to 10 years in prison for violence during 2020 protests in Portland

incendiary device
Portland Police Bureau
/
OPB
Portland police allege 24-year-old Malik Muhammed threw incendiary devices like this at officers during a protest in October 2020.

A protester charged with throwing Molotov cocktails at police and smashing windows at the Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University during protests in 2020 was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to 14 felonies, including attempted murder.

Malik Muhammad, 25, initially faced dozens of charges in state and federal court stemming from a series of protests he joined in September and October 2020 after traveling from Indianapolis to Portland. The plea deal was reached by the U.S Department of Justice, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and Muhammad’s defense attorney.

Muhammad pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to two counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device. He’ll be sentenced for those charges in June, though they’re not expected to add time to his sentence.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht called the agreement “a balanced, equitable result” noting prosecutors took into account mitigating information about Muhammad. Court documents note he’s a U.S. Army veteran and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as bipolar disorder. At the time of the protests, Muhammad was not taking medication.

“We are dedicated as a community to not only reducing but ending, the historic repression and discrimination that has overburdened communities of color and that we are dedicated to doing so peacefully,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht also imposed $200,000 in restitution as part of the sentence.

Under the agreement, Muhammad will serve his sentence in an Oregon Department of Corrections prison rather than in a federal facility. Matt McHenry, Muhammad’s defense attorney, requested Muhammad be allowed to serve his sentence at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.