PORTLAND, Ore. — A man from Indianapolis who led protests but also helped quell the tension between rioters and police officers during the 2020 riots, has admitted to trying to kill a cop during riots in Portland, Oregon that same year.
Muhammad will spend 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges, including attempted murder.
Malik Muhammad is best known in Indianapolis for walking arm and arm in solidarity with a police officer down Meridian Street towards the governor’s mansion days after the worst of rioting happened in downtown Indy after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A day later Muhammad met with Governor Holcomb and took a picture with him at the governor’s mansion.
A few months later, Muhammad was arrested during riots in Portland where he was accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at police officers trying to disperse a crowd. Prosecutors say they were able to link Muhammad to the riots through one of the Molotov cocktails he threw that did not explode.
“That led to DNA that was recovered and then some additional evidence that they evaluated,” said Nathan Vasquez, senior deputy district attorney in Oregon.
Police shored up that connection by using surveillance video from a Goodwill store in Portland where they say Muhammad bought 14 growlers, one of which was the yellow growler that was used to make the Molotov cocktail that ended up not igniting. Investigators were led to the Goodwill store because of a Goodwill sticker on the growler.
Other video also shows Muhammad throwing a yellow growler made into a Molotov cocktail at police officers. They say he also had a loaded handgun during further incidents in October when he smashed windows of several buildings including the Oregon Historical Society at Portland State University, which is near where he was arrested.
“We cannot have discussion and we can’t have progress when there is this type of violence,” Vasquez added. “More than anything, I think this city is looking for progress without the violence we saw in 2020.”
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