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Indianapolis man facing federal charges for violent protests in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP/WISH) — An Indiana man accused of throwing an explosive toward police and smashing windows during protests in Portland, Oregon, has appeared in federal court and was detained pending further proceedings.

Malik Fard Muhammad of Indianapolis was taken into federal custody Friday after being released from state custody when the Portland Freedom Fund posted 10% of his state-ordered $2.1 million bail in a Multnomah County case stemming from the same allegations.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that Muhammad faces federal charges that include possession of unregistered destructive devices, engaging in civil disorder and obstructing law enforcement, and using explosives to commit a federal felony.

Muhammad was a central figure in a June march to the Governor’s Residence during Indianapolis protests.

Authorities in Portland say Muhammad threw a firebomb at an officer in September, scorching the officer’s uniform. They also say Muhammad is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in damages from October.

In addition to the federal charges, Muhammad faces a 28-count grand jury indictment in Multnomah County, filed March 22:

  • Attempted aggravated murder (two counts);
  • Attempted assault in the first degree (two counts);
  • Attempted murder in the first degree (four counts);
  • Attempted murder in the second degree (two counts);
  • Criminal mischief in the first degree (six counts);
  • Riot (four counts);
  • Unlawful manufacture of a destructive device (two counts);
  • Unlawful possession of a destructive device (two counts);
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm (one count);
  • Unlawful possession of a loaded firearm (one count);
  • Unlawful use of a weapon (two counts).

Muhammad was a central figure in a June protest in Indianapolis following two nights of downtown protests and riots. He was part of a march up Meridian Street to the Governor’s Residence, leading to a standoff with Indiana State Police. The tension was broken when Muhammad hugged an IMPD officer, and the two walked together down Meridian Street.

Days later, Muhammad met with Gov. Eric Holcomb at the residence, where Muhammad told News 8 he and Holcomb, had a long talk that included discussion of an abolishment of knee and chokeholds, as well as making an officer’s record of violence more public so he or she cannot just move to another state or police force and get a clean slate.

After their meeting, Holcomb said in a statement: “Historic journeys take historic first steps. Malik and I took one, together, today.”

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