A Portland self-described “proud nonbinary queer” activist is facing charges for shining a high-powered green laser directly into the eyes of cops during a violent Black Lives Matter-Antifa riot in July.
28-year-old Kason Avery O’Connor, originally known as Kourtni Aliesha Pierson,—and whose pronouns are “they” and “them”—was charged with two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced in a press release on Wednesday.
O’Connor, originally from Mesquite, Texas, who also uses the aliases “Kason Ralph” and “Lucifer Avery Pierson,” is accused of being at the July 13 riot where far-left demonstrators hurled rocks, glass bottles, and bricks at law enforcement outside the Portland Police Association building. The gathering was organized by various Antifa groups in Portland and was part of more than 100 days of violent protests. Rioters also fired metal ball bearings using slingshots after blinding targets with paint. A construction worker was struck during the riot.
According to court documents, O’Connor was identified in the crowd assaulting officers’s eyes with an intense green laser. O’Connor reportedly fled the scene but was compliant when police made physical contact. The suspect was booked and quickly released without bail. The former charges by police were dismissed at the arraignment.
Earlier this year, O’Connor petitioned the Mulnomah County courts for a name and legal sex change.
Until recently, O’Connor was a student activist at Portland State University. In 2018, the suspect interrupted a campus event featuring ex-Google engineer, James Damore and ex-Evergreen State College biology professor Heather Heying. O’Connor was part of a group that tried to disrupt the event when Heyer was talking about biological sex differences in humans. Video of the incident went viral on social media at the time.
“We should not listen to fascism,” O’Connor stated on camera. “Nazis are not welcome in civil society!”
O’Connor is set to appear at a trial readiness hearing on Nov. 13.