Indiana man sentenced for role in violent 2020 Portland protests | ICIN

Malik Muhammad pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in the violent 2020 Portland protests.

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Indianapolis man who met with Gov. Eric Holcomb about police reform has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at police officers and smashing windows during the violent protests in Portland in 2020.

Malik Muhammad pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges before being sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution, according to a Tuesday announcement from Mike Schmidt, the district attorney for Multnomah County where Portland is located.

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Schmidt detailed how in the summer of 2020 Muhammad traveled to Portland where he was involved in four violent protests between September and October of 2020. 

Sept. 5, 2020:

The first was on Sept. 5, when Muhammad brought baseball bats and Molotov cocktails to a planned protest at the East Portland Police Precinct building. Schmidt said during the protest Muhammad passed out the bats and threw multiple Molotov cocktails at police officers. One of the explosives landed short and caused, what Schmidt described as, a “fiery explosion” that engulfed a fellow protester in flames, causing them severe burns to their legs.

Schmidt shared video of the explosion that was used as evidence against Muhammad. As a warning to viewers, the video contains graphic content and language. It can be viewed here. 

These are the charges he pleaded guilty to in connection with the Sept. 5 protest:

  • Second-degree assault
  • Unlawful manufacture of a destructive device
  • Unlawful possession of a destructive device
  • Riot

Sept. 21, 2020:

Muhammad went to a protest at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and threw a Molotov cocktail at police officers but it didn’t explode and police recovered it as evidence. This evidence, along with an extensive investigation, was used to identify Muhammad. 

These are the charges he pleaded guilty to in connection with the Sept. 21 protest:

Sept. 23, 2020:

Just two days later, Muhammad went to another protest at the Multnomah County Justice Center, which houses court facilities, a local jail, a police precinct and a number of other justice system related offices. 

A protester set the building on fire and as police moved toward the building to help put the fire out, Schmidt said Muhammad threw a Molotov cocktail at the officers. The explosive narrowly missed multiple officers and caught one officer’s clothes on fire. 

These are the charges he pleaded guilty to in connection with the Sept. 23 protest:

Oct. 11, 2020:

Muhammad was also linked to a protest near Directors Park in downtown Portland in October. Schmidt said during this protest Muhammad used a baton to smash the windows of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, and multiple other businesses in the downtown Portland area.

When he was arrested, police said they saw him try to hide a loaded gun. The gun was taken when he was arrested.

These are the charges he pleaded guilty to in connection with the Oct. 11 protest:

  • Four counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
  • Riot


Muhammad helped organize various rallies in Indianapolis last summer against racial injustice and police use of force, according to press reports.

Muhammad made headlines after helping to defuse a tense standoff between police and demonstrators in Indianapolis by hugging a police lieutenant on June 1.

RELATED: Officers march peacefully with protesters outside the governor’s residence

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Days after the exchange, Muhammad had a private meeting with Holcomb to discuss police reform.

Public records indicate Muhammad is an Army veteran and had no criminal history prior to the violent Portland protests.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Muhammad throughout.)

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