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Self-proclaimed Proud Boys member sentenced to 10 years for violence at Portland protests

 | News Today

Self-proclaimed Proud Boys member sentenced to 10 years for violence at Portland protests

| Top stories | News Today

A self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys from Texas who traveled to Portland, Ore. To confront protesters there last year was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday for shooting a man in the eye with a paintball gun, spraying people in the face with a bear mace and pointing a loaded handgun at a crowd, prosecutors said.

Texas man Alan Swinney, 51, was a ‘white nationalist self-defense cowboy’ who traveled to Portland to engage in political violence during protests there in the summer of 2020 , prosecutors said.

In social media posts he made threats against “the left” and “antifa,” prosecutors said, and tried to recruit people to form a militia to fight in what he believed to be. a civil war.

Mr. Swinney, who has participated in several protests in the Northwest, has become a “known entity” in Portland for instigating and committing acts of violence under the banner of free speech and pro-sentiment. police, prosecutors said.

For two days – August 15, 2020 and August 22, 2020 – he led a small group of like-minded people and engaged in multiple acts of violence during protests stemming from the murder of George Floyd, the prosecutors.

Mr. Swinney sustained a serious eye injury by shooting a man in the face with a paintball gun. prosecutors said. He also shot people with paintballs, prosecutors said.

In October, after a six-day trial, a Multnomah County jury found Mr. Swinney guilty of 11 counts, including second degree assault, fourth degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. on fire, prosecutors said.

Mr Swinney’s attorney, Joseph Westover, did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment on Friday.

During the trial, Mr Westover argued that Mr Swinney had defended himself against ‘agitators’ who harassed him and that he saw himself as a ‘protector’ who had come to Portland to stand among the black-clad protesters. causing chaos and “Return the Blue,” reported The Oregonian.

In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors argued that Mr Swinney’s letters, social media statements and testimony showed that he had “no remorse for his actions, no desire to change and any intention to engage in future acts of violence “.

“During the trial, he quickly branded all those who opposed him as terrorists, expressed his joy for those who were injured, bragged about his actions and firmly asserted that he would do it all over again. ‘he had the opportunity,’ the prosecutor said. wrote.

Prosecutors included in the memorandum a letter Mr. Swinney wrote to Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was sentenced in June to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of Mr. Floyd while kneeling on neck for over nine minutes as he pleaded for air.

“Our country has too many George Floyd,” wrote Mr. Swinney. “It’s time to clean the house.”

Prosecutors said Mr Swinney had called himself a “patriot” and was a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys, the far-right group known to have engaged in brawls.

The group has come under scrutiny as federal agents attempt to determine how well its leaders planned the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, when a crowd of Trump supporters temporarily disrupted certification the results of the presidential election.

In August, the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, was sentenced to five months in prison for possession of high capacity rifle magazines days before the siege and for burning a stolen Black Lives Matter banner in Washington, DC, after he ‘Trump rally descended into violence in December 2020.

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