On February 8th 2023 Federal authorities in Oregon have indicted Kenneth Harold in case from the 2020 riots. The now separated US Army Soldier Kenneth Harold is accused of Interstate riot.
Portland Oregon was the epicenter of left wing violence in 2020 and 2021. Portland had 100+ nights of rioting during the summer of 2020 with million in damage and hundreds of arrests. However after the majority of the rioting ended in 2021, very little effort was put in by authorities to make arrests from past rioting. This case is part of small handful of cases brought since.
At a specific April 20th 2021 riot, following the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict a group of BLM and Antifa gathered near the North Precinct in Portland. They set off marching quickly vandalizing everything in their path. The vandalism targets included a bank, grocery store, Starbucks, Popeyes, Boost Mobile, and Boys and Girls club sponsored by the Portland Trailblazers. There were additional violent assaults targetting Portland Police officers. The Boys and Girls club, despite having BLM art on their windows, had several of their windows smashed.
The the indictment against Harold alleges that while stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington he communicated over text message with other extremists to plot violent direct action. Texts outlined in the indictment specifically have him stating that they needed to smash out windows, talking about tools he wanted to try using to smash out windows, and celebrating the previous night's vandalism. The tool Harold was texting about is a common window breaking tool, frequently put in cars for situations when breaking a window is necessary for safety purposes. Texts also indicate that Harold participated in rioting in Seattle.
He explicitly states his motivations in other texts. Harold texted "you guys should just smash anything. Every business upholds capitalism. The more destruction the more clearly people realize we're angry and actually mean it." and while referring to the Boys and Girls Center he texted "they're a slimy nonprofit just like the rest"
Harold was ultimately arrested at the riot by Portland Police. He was booked for felony criminal mischief. Other individuals such as Randy Gray were arrested at the riot with Harold, Gray was spotted on video sucker punching an officer in the Face.
Violent extremist and #portland #antifa member Randy Gray pleaded guilty yesterday to 2021 charges from sucker punching a PPB officer during a 4/20 riot.— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) December 22, 2022
As usual, he was sentenced to probation. He pled to disorderly conduct, with the assault on an officer deferred. pic.twitter.com/qGWpa1jYvH
Harold was arraigned for riot, criminal mischief and Unlawfully Possessing a Graffiti Implement in Multnomah County court. He was then released without bail. Far left District Attorney Mike Schmidt, was responsbile for the case and according to the docket made little to no effort on it, the information expired and it was dismissed. Schmidt has used prosecutorial discretion to bring forward very few left wing rioting cases. Randy Gray, who was arrested at the same riot did have his case prosecuted, but despite overwhelming evidence Mike Schmidt let the case be pled down to disorderly conduct, with the assault on an officer deferred. Gray was sentenced to probation.
Since Harold's case was dismissed, it also meant that Harold could get the window punch, that he allegedly used to vandalize the Boys and Girls Center back.
While the US Military lashes out at any sort of right wing Extremism (real or entirely made up) left wing extremism within the ranks has been somewhat common and almost entirely ignored. US Army veteran Ty John Fox was arrested for throwing large commercial fireworks at police, that case was dismissed despite clear evidence.
In one of the most egregious example USAF airman Larry Raynold Williams Jr got time served for firebombing a police car during the 2020 riots. Hill was an Airman 1st Class with the US Air Force at Hill AFB where he worked in the 3PO security field. Williams stole a USAF issued gas mask and took it to a George Floyd riot in Salt Lake City Utah where he participated in the arson and destruction of a police vehicle. He ended up being identified by the stolen gas mask, with the Lot Number inscribed on the underside of the M61 filter being used to find him. Williams received time served for this, time served was 2 days according to the docket.
Larry Raynold Williams Jr was sentenced today on federal charges for torching a cop car in Salt Lake City during the George Floyd riots— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) January 29, 2022
He was sentenced to time served, house arrest & probation. Time served was 2 days
Charge also appears to have been dismissed during sentencing pic.twitter.com/1TETwMPAij
Harold had his Arraignment on the 21st, he pled not guilty. He's free on bond with conditions currently. A Jury Trial is set for 4/11/2023, however this will likely be pushed back. The overwhelming majority of federal cases against left wing rioters in Oregon have been dismissed, with many of those who have pled guilty receiving probationary sentences. It will be interesting to see the extent to which Oregon USAO prosecutes this case.