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Self-proclaimed Proud Boys member sentenced to 10 years in prison over violence at Portland protests

"He is a white nationalist vigilante cowboy. And what's the most troubling part about that statement? He actually enjoys that label," quipped prosecutors.

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Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio
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51-year-old Alan Swinney, a self-proclaimed Proud Boys member, was sentenced to 10 years in prison over his actions at Portland protests back in August 2020.

The charges stem from protests on Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 last year when clashes erupted between right-wing and left-wing groups armed with paintballs, chemical sprays, umbrellas, and shields outside the Multnomah County Justice Center.

Oregon Live covered the case where Swinney was sentenced over his usage of a paintball gun, aiming a gun at a crowd of people, and using bear mace on multiple occasions. When it comes to the part about Swinney "pulling out a loaded revolver," that action was captured on film at the time.

As described in Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt's press release, Swinney faced a six-day trial and was found guilty on 11 charges: "Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Fourth Degree, Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Attempted Assault in the Fourth Degree, two counts of Unlawful Use of Mace in the Second Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon with a Firearm, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon (paintball gun), and Pointing a Firearm at Another."

What happened Friday was the sentencing hearing. Schmidt made mention about the political undertones in his office's public statement.

Swinney's defense lawyer argued for probation as a sentence on the claim that his actions were in self-defense against "agitators." The attorney pointed out that his client had PTSD from serving in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. The prosecution labeled Swinney as a "lightning rod" for political violence that destabilizes the community. The prosecutors labeled Swinney as someone who was "looking for fight" and willing to travel wherever he needed to, to see some action.

"There was only one terrorist in Portland on those days, and it was Alan Swinney," a local news outlet quoted the prosecutor as saying.

Swinney's sentencing comes at a time when law enforcement is moving to crack down on political violence on both sides. As jouranlist Andy Ngo points out, authorities are following through on apprehension of all riot-related activity.

Writing for Newsweek, Ngo highlights a recent sweep by the San Diego County District Attorney's office in charging nearly a dozen alleged Antifa members for riot-related activities on the west coast.

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