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American News May 8, 2022 10:31 AM EST

Portland journalist who reported on the 'alt- right' for liberal papers arrested over attacks on synagogues, mosque

Michael Bivins was charged with multiple counts of criminal mischief in the first degree, criminal mischief in the third degree, and arson in the first degree.

Portland journalist who reported on the 'alt- right' for liberal papers arrested over attacks on synagogues, mosque
Katie Daviscourt Seattle, WA

Portland reporter Mike Bivins was arrested on Saturday over alleged attacks of vandalism and arson at houses of worship, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Michael E. Bivins, 34, of Portland, Oregon was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center early Saturday. Bivins was charged with multiple counts of criminal mischief in the first degree, criminal mischief in the third degree, and arson in the first degree.

Courtesy: Portland Police Bureau

The accusations against Bivins, according to PPB, are as follows:

On April 30, Bivins allegedly broke windows to Congregation Shir Tikvah, a Jewish Synagogue, located at 2420 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland.

On May 2, Bivins allegedly graffitied the Jewish Synagogue Congregation Beth Israel, located at 1972 NW Flanders in Portland.

The following day, on May 3, Bivins allegedly set fire to Muslim Community Center of Portland, a mosque that was occupied during the time of the attack.

On May 4, Bivins allegedly struck Jewish Synagogue Congregation Beth Israel again and threw a large rock through the library window.

Courtesy: Portland Police Bureau

The Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo broke the news on Twitter, saying that Bivins had been "arrested over vandalism attacks on synagogues & attempted arson at a mosque. He's been charged w/multiple felonies."

"His last DM to me in 2020 was a message critical of me posting #Antifa riot mugshots," Ngo said.

Ngo reported that Bivins was most known for his reporting and video coverage of right-wing rallies and protests; and captured many viral videos of riots in Portland.

In late 2020, Mike Bivins and leftist lawyer Michael Fuller of the Underdog Law Firm announced a $1 million lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. Bivins alleged that while reporting on a riot in July, DHS intentionally sprayed him in the face with law enforcement grade tactical pepper spray, which allegedly caused ongoing burning in his eyes, respiratory system, and a severe rash on his neck.

Leftist journalists with prior association to Bivins were quick to speak out following the news of his arrest.

"Mike Bivins wrote for @wweek from 2017 to 2019. He covered street brawls and other political polarization for us (along with selling video to local and national outlets). We're conducting a review of his work," Willamette Week news editor Aaron Mesh said on Twitter.

Corey Pein, a leftist freelance journalist also weighed in and said, "Since I expect to get asked about this: Mike and I shared a byline once on a story about rising right-wing extremism in Portland, but we reported and filed entirely separately and the story was stitched together later in editing. I really can't speak to his life, or this event."

According to the police report, Bivins was arrested with the assistance of the Beaverton Police Department after he visited a television news station where he demanded to speak to a reporter. A Beaverton Police Detective followed up, coordinated with Portland Police, and Bivins was taken into custody. PPB detectives have also been in contact with federal authorities regarding these cases.

Authorities say that additional investigation is ongoing and further charges are possible.

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