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Portland protests: Man charged after Oregon Historical Society is damaged



Malik Fard Muhamad has been charged with a number of unlawful possession of a firearm, a number of having a loaded firearm in public, a number of first degree offenses, and a number of civil unrest.

CNN has asked Muhamad and his family for an explanation.

Activists urged people to march for “Indigenous Peoples’ Anger Day” on Sunday, one day before the nationally recognized Columbus Day. Police declared the protest a riot after the group of around 300 people devastated businesses and toppled statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

According to a press release from the Multnomah District Prosecutor’s Office, Muhamad has been identified by law enforcement as part of a group of people who are all carrying black and destructive buildings. Muhamad ran away from the police when they tried to arrest him.

During the arrest, the police found a pistol behind barrels behind which he was hiding and which corresponded to a loaded pistol magazine in Muhammad̵

7;s pocket.

According to Detectives, Muhamad has lived in Washington and has participated in several protests in the past few months which, according to the press release, have resulted in violence.

“I’m terrified to see the destruction that happened overnight in Portland,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

A woman pulls a blanket from the Oregon Historical Society's display case during a Indigenous Peoples Day protest.

Conflict over racism and inequality

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

“They have brought white supremacy, racism, civil rights and social inequality to the fore. They have 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.

Several people have already been arrested in connection with Sunday’s demonstrations, including a person armed with a loaded pistol who broke numerous windows and the driver who was involved in the demolition of the Roosevelt statue, according to Chuck Lovell, police chief of Portland.

CNN has approached the obvious Portland organizers for comment but has not yet received a response.

The Lincoln and Roosevelt statues were not only demolished, but they were also posted with indications of violence against indigenous people.

“Stolen lands” was written on Roosevelt’s statue. He has criticized his eviction of indigenous people, with which he made his conservation efforts possible.

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

Then-Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey originally ordered more than 300 men to be sentenced to hang, but Lincoln reduced the number.

According to Lovell, protesters broke several windows in the Historical Society pavilion and threw at least three burning torches into them. The torches extinguished themselves and did no serious damage.

Kerry Tymchuk, the historical society’s executive director, said an African-American quilt made by 15 African-American women prior to the US bicentenary, “an invaluable piece of history here,” was stolen from the building. The blanket was found several blocks away on Monday morning, very wet, according to Tymchuk, but recoverable.

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


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