Protests in Portland: Man faces charges after damage to Oregon Historical Society

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Malik Fard Muhamad was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a loaded firearm in public, one count of first degree criminal mischief and one count of pack leader.

CNN has contacted Muhamad and his family for a statement.

Activists called on people to march on Sunday for a federally recognized “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage,” the eve of Columbus Day. Police said the protest was a riot after the group of about 300 people vandalized businesses and toppled statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Law enforcement identified Muhamad as one of a group of people dressed in black buildings and vandalizing, according to a press release from the Multnomah District Prosecutor’s Office. Muhamad fled from police as they tried to arrest him, the statement said.

During the arrest, police found a pistol behind cannons he was hiding behind which matched a pistol magazine loaded in Muhamad’s pocket, the statement said.Detectives say Muhamad has lived in Washington and has attended several protests in recent months in which violence has taken place, the statement said.

“It’s sickening to me to see the destruction that took place in Portland overnight,” District Attorney Mike Schmidt said.

Conflict over racism and inequalities

The damage to the Oregon Historical Society is “inexcusable,” Schmidt said.

“They brought to light white supremacy, racism, civil rights and social inequalities. They raised the voices and stories of marginalized and underserved communities in Oregon, ”he said.

Schmidt said his office is committed to prosecuting crimes related to protest violence.

Multiple arrests have already been made in connection with Sunday’s protests, including a person armed with a loaded pistol that smashed many windows and the driver involved in the shooting down of the Roosevelt statue, according to the police chief. from Portland, Chuck Lovell.

CNN has contacted apparent organizers in Portland for comment but has yet to receive a response.

In addition to being shot down, the statues of Lincoln and Roosevelt bore spray-painted references to violence against Indigenous peoples.

The statue of Roosevelt had “stolen lands” written on it. He has been criticized for his forced removal from indigenous people, which he has used to make his conservation efforts possible.

The photos show the Lincoln statue with “Dakota 38”, a reference to the Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising. Lincoln ordered the hanged of 38 Dakota natives in Mankato, Minnesota – the largest mass execution in the United States.

Alexander Ramsey, then governor of Minnesota, initially ordered more than 300 men sentenced to be hanged, but Lincoln reduced the number.

Lovell said protesters smashed several windows in the Historical Society pavilion, throwing at least three flares inside. The rockets went out and caused no serious damage.

Kerry Tymchuk, the historical society’s executive director, said an African-American quilt made by 15 African-American women before the American Bicentennial, “a priceless piece of history here”, was stolen from the building. The quilt was found several blocks away Monday morning, very damp but recoverable, according to Tymchuk.

CNN’s Paul P. Murphy and Laurie Ure contributed to this report.

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