Patriot Prayer leader felony riot trial to start Monday
More than three years after a street brawl outside a Northeast Portland bar, Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson will finally stand trial on a single count of felony riot for his alleged role in the incident.
The May 1, 2019, street fight took place outside the Cider Riot!, which now is closed. On video, Gibson and other Patriot Prayer members are seen involved in a fight that spilled into the middle of the street. Prosecutors allege Gibson taunted and threatened left-leaning protesters often referred to as anti-fascist or "antifa," in a deliberate effort to provoke a fight.
In the melee, a woman named Heather Clark was knocked unconscious. Before she was knocked out, Gibson is seen on video pushing her. That happened moments after Gibson and other Patriot Prayer members — some of whom also face charges — taunted and threatened left-wing protesters "in an effort to clearly provoke a physical altercation," court document stated at the time of his arrest.
Gibson pleaded not guilty in September 2019. Since his arrest, court documents show he's used a number of legal maneuvers to delay the trial or get the venue changed. He also publicly stated Portland city leaders targeted him and claimed his arrest was politically motivated.
All of his efforts to avoid the trial were denied.
Jury selection for Gibson's trial began last week in Multnomah County.
Three other Patriot Prayer members — Chris Ponte, Ian Kramer and Matthew Cooper — were indicted and pleaded guilty to charges related to the Cider Riot! brawl.
In May 2021, Kramer was sentenced to 20 months in prison and formal supervised probation.
Abram Goldman-Armstrong, who owned the Cider Riot!, sued Gibson and Patriot Prayer members for making the bar a target for violence from his far-right group. That civil suit has yet to be settled.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.
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