A well-known leader of far-left protest movements in Indiana is now a suspect in the attempted murder of two Oregon police officers, where officials say the suspect traveled across the country to attend violent riots in Portland, Ore.
According to reports, Malik Muhammed is one of the people who organized protests in Indianapolis that turned deadly in 2020. On Friday, he was taken into police custody in his home state on a 28-charge indictment connected to violent unrest in Portland last September.
The series of charges he now faces consist of attempted aggravated murder, attempted assault in the first degree, attempted murder in the first degree, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, and a number of weapons charges.
The accusations center around “allegations that Muhammed attempted to murder two police officers” after taking the over 2,000-mile journey to the Rose City, according to prosecutors.
“Anyone who thinks they can get away with trying to murder police officers and destroy this city should think again,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell remarked in a statement regarding Muhammed’s arrest.
The 24-year-old Muhammed is suspected of hurling a Molotov cocktail. The Sept. 23 incident was caught on video before exploding near a group of police. One officer was reported to be “sprayed with fire and his lower leg caught fire for a moment,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt stated.
He also reportedly tossed two similar homemade incendiary devices two days before. One is said to have not exploded, giving investigators an opportunity to collect critical evidence linking him to the assault, according to the DA.
DNA specimens from the undetonated weapon had “an extremely strong comparison” to Muhammed, Deputy District Attorney Keven Demer reported in an affidavit.
A price tag on the yellow beer growler used to make the weapon led investigators to the store where it was originally obtained, along with footage of Muhammed and his girlfriend purchasing growlers and bats, Demer reported.
Plainclothes federal agents claim to have witnessed Muhammed use a metal baton to smash windows of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, and multiple other businesses on Oct. 11, according to Demer’s sworn statement.
“Muhammed was responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of damage” during the violent unrest, authorities reported in a statement.
Police apprehended him at the time, and he was said to have tossed away a loaded 9mm pistol which was later located with a loaded magazine in his pocket that matched the weapon, according to authorities.
Possession of a loaded firearm was added to the many charges he now faces.
If found guilty, Muhammed could receive a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. A judge ordered him to be held without bail in Indiana as he awaits extradition to Oregon.
Joshua Pond, who is Muhammed’s lawyer according to court documents, did not immediately comment on his client’s behalf.
Muhammed made a name for himself among far-left circles in Indianapolis, where he became a prominent protest leader not long after George Floyd’s death. When demonstrations he helped organize got out of hand, he quickly shifted blame to police, the Indy Star reported.
“I will not allow the narrative to continue to be spun the way the police did it last night,” the suspect said following one of his demonstrations, according to the Star.
During one of his so-called “protests” police reported that 29 people were arrested on an assortment of charges centering around property damage, fire, and fights.
Muhammed sulked to the press that he “cried” when he learned that people were hurt, and even died in shootings, during the demonstration he helped organize.
“What is any of that compared to the lives that we lost due to police brutality?” Muhammed commented to the Star. “But I tried. I tried as hard as I could to stop anything bad from happening.”