Man who pulled gun on crowd found guilty

Sentencing for Michael Strickland will be held in May 2017

Michael Strickland holds a gun in Portland, Ore., during a rally to protest the deaths of two black men shot by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. (AP Photo/Diego G Diaz)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A judge has convicted the man who pulled a gun on a crowd of people during a Black Lives Matter rally outside the Multnomah County Justice Center.

The crowd was never threatening Michael Strickland, police and prosecutors have maintained. Many of the people in the crowd had their hands raised, and when Strickland pulled his gun, fled the area in panic.

Police were quick to arrive and take Strickland into custody.

During his week-long trial, Strickland’s defense was that as an independent journalist, he was covering the event and felt threatened when the crowded approached him.

He also maintained that carrying his gun was legal because he held a conceal-carry permit.

Strickland had originally opted for a jury trial, but following jury selection, requested a bench trial. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan found Strickland guilty of 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of second-degree disorderly conduct.

Although no rounds were fired during the incident involving Strickland, police determined that he had access to more than 120 rounds that were in magazines in his pockets.

Sentencing will be held in May.