Federal judge throws out Joey Gibson’s lawsuit against Multnomah County DA

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Feb. 27, 2021 8:48 p.m.

An Oregon U.S. District Court judge on Friday threw out Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson’s lawsuit against the Multnomah County District Attorney.

Gibson and affiliate Russell Schultz filed a federal lawsuit against Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and Deputy District Attorney Brad Kalbaugh last year — claiming Schmidt was prosecuting them for riot “selectively” and in “bad faith.”


Those charges came out of a May 2019 fight outside of Portland pub, Cider Riot, where members of Patriot Prayer fought with pub patrons who were attending an event hosted by Portland antifascist group Rose City Antifa.

Patriot Prayer is a Vancouver-based far-right group.


The Multnomah County district attorney’s office indicted six people, including Gibson and Schultz, related to that brawl.

Gibson and Schultz filed their lawsuit in September following a new policy from District Attorney Schmidt that dropped many low-level charges brought against protesters over the course of racial justice demonstrations that had taken place throughout Portland since May.

In that complaint, legal counsel argued that Schmidt’s policy should also apply to the charges against Gibson and Schultz, to which the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office disagreed, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut dismissed Gibson and Schultz’s case against the DA and deputy DA Friday. Part of Immergut’s reasoning is that the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter because of the ongoing state court proceedings against Gibson and Schultz.

“It is inappropriate for this Court to weigh in on the strength of the evidence and Plaintiffs will have the opportunity to litigate whether the evidence is sufficient to support the charge or riot in their state court proceedings,” Immergut wrote.

Immergut also noted in her filing that the charge filed against Gibson and Schultz followed all of the regular court procedures. While this isn’t directly related to the argument for or against “bad faith,” Immergut said in her opinion “it is powerful evidence tending to rebut the assertion that the charges are a complete ‘sham,’ as argued by [the] Plaintiffs.”

The state trial for Gibson and Schultz is currently scheduled for March 8.


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