A high-profile Indiana protest leader has been accused of attempting to murder two police officers in Oregon — after he traveled a
A high-profile Indiana protest leader has been accused of attempting to murder two police officers in Oregon — after he traveled across the country to attend the riots in Portland, according to officials.
Malik Muhammed — one of the organizers of protests in Indianapolis that turned deadly last year — was arrested in the Hoosier State Friday on a 28-charge indictment tied to riots in Portland in September.
The slew of charges includes attempted aggravated murder, attempted assault in the first degree, attempted murder in the first degree, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and numerous weapons charges.
They revolve around “allegations that Muhammed attempted to murder two police officers” after making the more than 2,000-mile trip to the troubled Oregon city, prosecutors said.
“Anyone who thinks they can get away with trying to murder police officers and destroy this city should think again,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement announcing Muhammed’s arrest.
Muhammed, 24, is accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail that video shows exploding around a group of cops on Sept. 23 — with one cop “sprayed with fire and his lower leg caught fire for a moment,” according to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
He is also accused of throwing a similar homemade fireball two days earlier — one that did not explode, allowing investigators to gather crucial information tying him to the attack, the D.A. said.
DNA samples from the unexploded firebomb had “an extremely strong comparison” to Muhammed, Deputy District Attorney Keven Demer said in an affidavit.
A price tag also allowed them to trace the yellow beer growler used for it to the store where it had been purchased, and video showed Muhammed and his girlfriend buying growlers and bats, Demer said.
FBI agents in plainclothes later saw Muhammed use a metal baton to break windows of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University and several businesses on Oct. 11, Demer’s sworn statement said.
“Muhammed was responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of damage” during the riots, police said in a statement.
Officers had arrested him at the time, and he allegedly ditched a loaded 9mm pistol, and was found with a loaded magazine in his pocket that fit the gun, authorities said.
His many charges include unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.
If convicted, Muhammed could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and he was ordered held without bail in an Indiana jail, awaiting extradition to Oregon.
Joshua Pond, listed on court documents as Muhammed’s attorney, said he had no comment on behalf of his client.
Muhammed was already a divisive figure in Indianapolis, where he had been one of the organizers of protests soon after George Floyd’s death — and blamed police when they turned violent, the Indy Star noted.
With Post wires