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#Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson sues Portland-area DA for selective prosecution

#Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson sues Portland-area DA for selective prosecution

September 12, 2020 | 5:39pm | Updated September 12, 2020 | 5:40pm

The leader of the far-right group Patriot Prayer is suing the district attorney of the Portland, Oregon, region who is prosecuting them for rioting last year while refusing to charge left-leaning protesters who have been engaged in often violent demonstrations for months.

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and Russell Schultz are due in court Oct. 26 for trials stemming from a May Day 2019 riot, The Oregonian reported.

They were among six men accused of inciting a riot between the right-wing group and left-leaning Antifa outside a Northeast Portland pub. The other four pleaded guilty and were sentenced in January.

Gibson and Schultz accused Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt of unfair prosecution in a federal suit filed Friday. The suit claims that Schmidt is selectively prosecuting them based on their political beliefs, because he is refusing to dismiss the single felony riot allegation against them in light of his new policy.

Schmidt announced last month that his office wouldn ’t pursue riot charges against most of the hundreds of people who have been arrested in Portland protests in recent months. He specifically said rioting charges would not be prosecuted unless accompanied by another crime.

Their lawyers, James Buchal, chair of Multnomah County ’s Republican Party, and D. Angus Lee, claim in the suit that Schmidt and his deputy district attorney are engaged in “bad faith, selective, and retaliatory” prosecution of Gibson and Schultz in violation of the office ’s own written policy.

Trump

Proud Boy members listen to Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson speak on Labor Day.

AP

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Men armed with automatic weapons stand in front of the State Capitol building in Salem, Oregon.

AFP via Getty Images

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Patriot Prayer members and Proud Boys clashing with Antifa protesters in Salem, Oregon.

AFP via Getty Images

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Separately, a survey reported by Willamette Week found that 66% of Oregon voters disapprove of the ongoing protests in Portland, including 61% of voters in the city ’s metro area.

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