During the 2020 riots, there were countless attacks on police. In Portland, which had the longest running daily riots of any city, at just the federal courthouse riots over 689 injuries were reported. However very few cases have led to any punishment. At one Portland riot a man named Kevin Phomma came armed with a knife and bear spray. He attacked police with bear spray near the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, and was soon after arrested.
Video of Phomma's attack was found via riotarchive, a project we've supported. Phomma uses the whole can of bear mace to attack the police
The case later became a point of comparison to several January 6th cases such as Julian Elie Khater who similarly pled guilty to assaulting capitol police with bear spray. Khater was held pre-trial and eventually pled guilty, after which he was sentenced to 80 months in federal prison.
However unlike Khater, Phomma escaped with zero actual punishment. Shortly after being arrested on August 27th Phomma was booked into Multnomah County Jail and unlike January 6th defendants he wasn't held without bail, left wing groups paid his bail and he was out.
Several days later on September 4th 2020 the Oregon US Attorney's Office filed federal charges against Phomma. They charged him with Civil Disorder, a felony with a 5 year potential sentence. He was additionally charged in Multnomah County with 5 felonies including use of mace, assaulting an officer, riot, and 2 misdemeanor charges.
However this aggressive prosecution that may have indicated some sort of real punishment for Phomma didn't amount to anything. The court cases (state and federal) proceeded incredibly slowly. In the federal case Phomma's attorney made a motion to dismiss based on lack of federal authority, that motion was Dismissed in September of 2021.
Phomma then pled to state charges in Janauary 2022, with a sentencing date set for an entire year in the future. He pled to only 3 of the felonies, assault and two charges of use of mace. Despite the local DA Mike Schmidt's reputation for enabling violent left wing criminality, the Oregon US Attorney's Office under Scott Asphaug dismissed the federal case.
Nothing happened in for the rest of 2022. In January 2023, Phomma was allowed to plea again on the same case thanks to Mike Schmidt. He pled not guilty on all 3 felonies he he had pled to in 2022. The case was then dismissed entirely. This appears to be a roundabout way of doing a deferred resolution agreement, a tactic similar to suspended sentencing frequently used with left wing criminal. This meant he had to comply with bail conditions for the year between pleas as the 'punishment' for multiple felonies.
While Julian Khater is in federal prison until November 2026, Kevin Phomma who committed and pled guilty for the same underlying conduct is free and still living in Portland where he works at a local restaurant.