Michael Strickland is a conservative blogger for the Progressives Today blog and shares video on a YouTube channel called "LaughingAtLiberals".
Strickland was born about 1980 and lives in southeast Portland, Oregon.
Strickland contributes blog posts to the website Progressives Today. As of October 2016, Strickland's YouTube channel, LaughingAtLiberals, has over 20,000 subscribers.
At Portland Community College (PCC)'s Whiteness History Month in April 2016, Strickland attended several events to film for LaughingAtLiberals. A PCC spokeswoman said he was routinely "pushing buttons" and posting heavily edited videos about the events.
At a Black Lives Matter rally in Portland, Oregon, on 7 July 2016, Strickland pulled a Glock 26 pistol and pointed it at protesters, including an undercover police officer. Portland police reported that Strickland's pistol was equipped with "an extremely large magazine" (over 120 rounds in multiple magazines) and had a round in the chamber. The police also reported Strickland was carrying five extra magazines for the pistol, all loaded. Strickland claims he was surrounded by several anarchist protesters who pushed and shoved him, and that he feared for his life.
Portland's police chief, Mike Marshman, said Strickland's actions at the rally were "fully unacceptable", stating, "I'm very, very proud of the members of the Police Bureau who cautiously and safely enabled the protest to continue on. That's how it should be. To the men and women of the Police Bureau, please continue to do what you do."
Portland police arrested Strickland at the scene, charging him with menacing and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. Law enforcement officials then processed Strickland through the Multnomah County Detention Center and released Strickland on his own recognizance. The next day the state added two additional charges of unlawful use of a firearm, a class C felony. At Strickland's arraignment, the judge set bail at $250,000, with Strickland being released after posting the required bail on July 18. A Multnomah County district attorney sought the high bail amount partly based on alleged race-based threats, including harassing texts and phone calls, reportedly made by Strickland at a previous 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting vigil.
In response to the incident, Portland State University banned Strickland from its campus for two years, and Portland Community College indefinitely banned Strickland from its campus.
On February 10 2017, Strickland was found guilty of all 21 counts: 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing, and one count of disorderly conduct. Judge Thomas Ryan ruled that he was not threatened by the crowd, as Strickland claimed. He will be sentenced in May 2017.