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Saturday, June 3, 2023
June 3, 2023

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Jury selection starts for Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson’s riot trial


PORTLAND — Far-right Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson’s trial starts this week on one count of felony riot in connection with a brawl outside a Portland, Oregon, bar in 2019.

Jury selection began Monday and is scheduled to continue through Thursday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Prosecutors allege Gibson instigated a street fight between Patriot Prayer and antifascists on May 1, 2019, at the now-closed bar Cider Riot. In an arrest warrant affidavit, Deputy District Attorney Brad Kalbaugh says video of the brawl shows Gibson and his two co-defendants, “taunting and physically threatening members of the Antifa group in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical altercation.”

Three other brawl participants with the Patriot Prayer group, Chris Ponte, Ian Kramer and Matthew Cooper were indicted and pleaded guilty.

Kramer, who knocked a woman unconscious and fractured her vertebrae with a baton, pleaded guilty to riot, assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and five years of probation.

Ponte, who prosecutors said threw a rock and hurt a woman, pleaded guilty to a riot charge in a plea deal. He was sentenced to three years probation and 10 days in jail. Cooper pleaded guilty to riot and was sentenced to three years probation.

Gibson founded the Vancouver-based Patriot Prayer in 2016, and has held pro-Trump and other rallies repeatedly in Portland and other West Coast cities.

Cider Riot has since closed, but former owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong filed a civil lawsuit against Gibson and other Patriot Prayer members alleging Gibson used his platform to make the bar a target for far-right violence. That lawsuit is still open in the Oregon court of appeals.