Authorities in Indiana have arrested a man suspected of throwing incendiary devices at Portland police officers during riots last year, Portland Police Bureau said.
The suspect, Malik Muhammed, 24, was arrested in Indianapolis last week on a range of charges including first- and second-degree attempted murder, attempted aggravated murder, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, and illegal use of a firearm, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement.
According to police, during demonstrations in Portland on Sept. 21, 2020, Muhammed threw a flammable device at officers that luckily didn’t explode.
Two days later, on Sept. 23, Muhammed threw another flammable device at an officer that burned the officer’s uniform.
The incidents occurred during protests and riots that broke out in a number of cities after Kentucky prosecutors refused to recommend charges against the police officers involved in a botched March 2020 search warrant that led to the death of black Louisville resident Breonna Taylor in her home.
Police said Muhammed was also responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in property damage in downtown Portland in early October 2020.
“I am grateful to the investigators who spent many hours over the last few months following up these violent attacks against police officers and the community,” Lovell said in a statement. “I am also grateful to the brave officers who put themselves in harm’s way serving this community. More investigations are underway. Anyone who thinks they can get away with trying to murder police officers and destroy this city should think again.”
Muhammed is currently detained in Indiana pending an extradition hearing, according to The Oregonian.
A man named Joseph Robert Sipe was the initial suspect in the firebombings, but police later decided not to press felony charges against him after investigators determined he was not the man seen in a viral video throwing a Molotov cocktail at a group of Portland officers.
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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