PORTLAND, OR- A grand jury has indicted a man who is accused of injuring a Portland Police Bureau sergeant by shining a high-powered laser capable of starting a fire into his eye during a violent protest.
Portland Police arrested Bryan Michael Kelley, 36. He's accused of using a powerful laser to injure the eyes of cops last month at an #antifa riot. He's charged w/class B felony assault, felony unlawful use of a weapon & more. His bail is $257k. https://t.co/XLPVKKBSXN pic.twitter.com/tzzp1yjive
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 9, 2020
The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Bryan Kelley has been charged with one count of second-degree assault, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.
According to reports, the indictment says that Kelley intentionally aimed the high-power laser at an officer’s eyes during the overnight rioting at Portland City Hall on August 25th.
According to court documents, a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) sergeant said that Kelley shined the light into his eyes multiple times throughout the night.
Meet 36-year-old Bryan Michael Kelley. This criminal freak has been in jail waiting for someone to pay his $257,500 bond for trying to blind police officers with a high-powered laser. He could end up spending decades (more) behind bars. #thisIsAntifa #orangeIsTheNewAntifa pic.twitter.com/osncCtexq2
— Antifa Stats (@antifastats) September 10, 2020
The sergeant said he was forced to look away each time because the beam was so intense.
Authorities said that officers found and arrested Kelley near Southwest 4th Avenue and Southwest Jefferson Street. When they arrested him, officers found a blue laser in his back pocket.
Portland’s “Laser Man” arrested and charged by Federal Agents. https://t.co/UWkUdq2fzN
— ☀️ (@Lucky5713) September 6, 2020
Police said that later on, detectives tested the laser by pointing it at a piece of cardboard, which caused the cardboard to burn. In a press release, the department said:
“This blue laser in particular can heat paper so hot that it will make it smoke within 3 seconds.”
The PPB sergeant reported that he had problems with his eye after being hit by the laser and that because of the laser, his eyes were impaired. After Kelley was arrested on charges of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer, second-degree disorderly conduct, and interfering with a peace officer, he was taken to jail that night. Kelley was then released from jail.
Detectives then followed up on the case and issued the warrants to arrest Kelley on charges of second-degree assault, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement:
“An assault on the police us an assault on the community we are sworn to protect. I commend the officers out there every day and night and detectives whose follow up makes arrests like this possible.
Anyone hiding behind legitimate protests to commit acts of violence should know the investigations keep going even if you get released after your initial arrest.”
* Assault II, Class B felony
* Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Class C felony
* Unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer, Class A misdemeanor.
Bail Set @ $257,500https://t.co/iNAOsf5G1s
— NetAdvisor.org® (@NetAdvisor) September 13, 2020
Fox News reported that during a Senate hearing back in August, the Department of Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said that many federal officers experienced temporary blindness after rioters shined lasers at their eyes. He explained:
“We’ve had a number of officers who have days-long blindness. So far, they’ve all kind of come back, if you will. You also get what’s called flash blindness, think of it as the old Kodak cameras where you’d get that blue spot and you can’t quite see your entire field of vision for a period of time.”
In a similar incident, the Justice Department announced charges against a rioter in Rochester, New York who also attacked officers with a high-powered laser. According to the news release, Kyle Bradley Davis, 32, was arrested and charged by complaint with civil disorder for his role in the violent protests.
During the riot, police officers posted in the area of South Fitzhugh Street and South Plymouth Avenue. It was there they noticed Davis, who matched the description of the individual who had been pointing lasers at the officers.
That's the way it should be. Kyle Bradley Davis, 32, is charged with civil disorder.https://t.co/AUo80rZkZq
— Nick M. Zama (@gabbinggeek) September 14, 2020
As officers began to approach him and one officer told him to stop in order to detain him, he ran away from the officers. One officer pursued Davis on foot and was able to tackle him to the ground. Davis continued to resist, but was eventually taken into custody.
As a result, the arresting officer sustained a fractured orbital bone and a laceration under his left eye, and he continues to suffer from blurry vision in his left eye. He received seven stitches. U.S. Attorney James P. Kenney Jr., said in a statement:
“Simply put, those individuals who seek to injure law enforcement officers with dangerous devices such as lasers, explosives, projectiles, or anything else will face federal prosecution. While free speech is protected, a violent free-for-all aimed at law enforcement or anyone else, is not.”
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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about the violent protests happening across the country:
CLEVELAND, OH – Two men who were recently taken into custody in Cleveland were hit with federal charges regarding threats. Authorities allege that the two authored a series of Facebook posts that threatened police in said postings.
Both 27-year-old Mustafah Hawkins and 19-year-old Jaywuan Peavy are currently in federal custody after allegedly sharing some disturbing threats online.
On May 31st, authorities stated that Hawkins made the following post on Facebook:
“Mark my words, the change is coming.”
A few days after said post was made, investigators say that Hawkins then posted the following:
“I can assemble a flash mob easy Sunday. We going to fly passed them with [Molotov cocktails] in the backseat and fling them.”
Bedford Heights man facing federal charges for threatening Facebook posts.
— Cleveland 19 News (@cleveland19news) June 8, 2020
Affidavits related to the case say that Hawkins made mention of causing mayhem in the likes of Little Italy, while also stating intentions to commit acts of violence against police. Another post on Facebook allegedly made by Hawkins said:
“My verbal consent: If police ever kill me, I don’t want no fucking peace rallies. I don’t want silent protests or black squares on the internet. I want you to burn this mother fucker down…Torch it.”
As for Peavy, he was first taken into custody by the Mansfield Police Department for the alleged online threats made before being handed off to the feds. According to charging documents, he’s been accused of posting on May 30th details of when and where to “riot”:
“Park Avenue riot June 5 @ 7 p.m.”
An alleged subsequent post by Peavy divulged more details with regard to the intent behind the scheduled riot:
“We will be launching three attacks on Mansfield store.”
A local resident was said to have witnessed the post in question, and contacted police promptly. Authorities were said to have taken Peavy into custody one day before the allegedly scheduled riot.
Both suspects have already appeared before a judge in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, with Hawkins having his first hearing on June 11th and Peavy having initially appeared on June 10th. Both have been charged with using the internet to make threats, which falls under the federal jurisdiction.
A conviction under 18 U.S. Code § 875 could result in up to 20 years in prison.
People often forget that what you post online can land you more than just ramifications of the social-blend. As evidenced in recent cases, it’s clear that the police are not taking online threats with a grain of salt.
In a sense, one should seriously think before they hit “post.”
Take for instance, this recent case coming out of the town of Sanford in Florida.
A 20-year-old man was recently arrested in Florida for allegedly threatening to blow up a police station and also murder police officers. The threats, which were reportedly made online, could land the individual up to 15 years in prison.
#New: @SanfordPolice arrest Daravius Toliver. Investigators say Toliver tagged the department in a Facebook post in June 2nd and threatened to blow up the police department. #WFTV pic.twitter.com/LsRi7GgAID
— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) June 4, 2020
Police say that 20-year-old Daravius Toliver made some disturbing threats online, geared directly toward the Sanford Police Department in Florida. In one of these Facebook postings allegedly drafted by Toliver, the following was written:
“Sanford Police Department I wish y’all would try some [expletive]. I’ll kill all y’all n blow up the station.”
While the online postings are no longer visible, as Facebook may have either taken them down or disabled Toliver’s account, another post stated:
“Spd pull up here boy boy ima Swiss cheese that [expletive].”
For those unaware, threatening to “swiss cheese” someone typically refers to being riddled with bullets. In the aforementioned post, Toliver had allegedly tagged the police department’s official Facebook page with those remarks.
Toliver was reportedly taken to the Seminole County Jail, where he’s said to be held on a $30,000 bond for the charges.
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