Man arrested in Indianapolis on attempted murder, other charges stemming from Portland riots

Indianapolis Area Crime

Malik Muhammed

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UPDATE:

On June 1, the United States Department of Justice announced three federal felonies against Malik Fard Muhammad after he “repeatedly and intentionally jeopardizing the lives of police officers, destroying public property, and encouraging others to commit violence during recent riots in Portland.”

Those charges are possession of unregistered destructive devices, engaging in civil disorder and obstructing law enforcement, and using explosives to commit a federal felony.

ORIGINAL STORY:

PORTLAND, Ore. – A grand jury has indicted an Indiana man on allegations that he attempted to murder two police officers during separate riots in Portland, Oregon by using explosive devices, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Monday.

Malik Muhammed was arrested at an Indianapolis residence on April 2 of 2021 and is currently at the Marion County Jail awaiting extradition to Oregon. He is being charged with the following crimes:

  • Attempted aggravated murder (two counts)
  • Attempted assault in the first degree (two counts)
  • Attempted murder in the first degree (four counts)
  • Attempted murder in the second degree (two counts)
  • Criminal mischief in the first degree (six counts)
  • Riot (four counts)
  • Unlawful manufacture of a destructive device (two counts)
  • Unlawful possession of a destructive device (two counts)
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm (one count)
  • Unlawful possession of a loaded firearm (one count)
  • Unlawful use of a weapon (two counts)

Authorities claim Muhammed traveled to Portland in September of 2020 for the specific purpose of engaging in multiple criminal acts, and that after committing those acts, he returned to Indiana.

Muhammad was involved in Indianapolis protests in June of 2020 and received attention for ending a protested near the governor’s mansion that had grown intense by hugging an officer and walking side-by-side with police.

“I never in a million years thought I would embrace a cop like that. I feel like our message was heard, by some at least,” Muhammad said afterwards.

“I’m not sure what to believe. If that was just him de-escalating the situation, us trying to de-escalate the situation, and if so great, but we need that 100% of the time.”

Incident #1

According to court documents, Muhammed engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct” near the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct on September 5 that resulted in a “grave risk of causing public alarm.”

Incident #2

On September 21, court documents state that Muhammed threw a “large burning object” toward a police vehicle occupied by a Portland Police Bureau sergeant during a demonstration. The device did not explode. Police described the object as a large, yellow bottle that had a burnt rag stuffed in and contained a large amount of liquid that investigators tested and found it to be flammable.

As part of the investigation into that incident, law enforcement where able to determine where the bottle was purchased and claim that video from the store shows Muhammed and another person buying a large amount of bats and multiple beer growlers.

Incident #3

Authorities also allege that on September 23, Muhammed threw a “large burning object” toward a group of officers outside the Multnomah County Justice Center. Police described the object as a large, yellow bottle “similar to a beer growler” and claim that the burning device exploded, causing a large fireball to cascade outward. One officer was “sprayed” with the flames, and his lower leg caught fire for a moment, according to authorities.

As part of the investigation into this incident, law enforcement searched Muhammed’s cellphone and found a shopping list that included common ingredients used to make a Molotov cocktail, according to court documents.

Incident #4

According to court records, Muhammed on October 11 used a metal baton to smash the windows of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, Sprint T-Mobile, Bank of America and Ben Bridge Jewelers. Law enforcement claims that when they found and arrested Muhammed later that day, they discovered a loaded pistol magazine in his pocket. During a search of the nearby vicinity, police located a loaded pistol. The magazine found on Muhammed was designed to fit the pistol, and in total, the pistol and magazine contained 30 rounds of 9mm ammunition, per police.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office acknowledged the Portland Police Bureau, the Portland Fire Bureau, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oregon State Police, the United States Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the investigation of this case.

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