PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The leader of the far-right group Patriot Prayer was out on bail hours after turning himself in to authorities on the eve of political protests in downtown Portland.
Joey Gibson walked into the Multnomah County Justice Center on Friday — a day after he announced he would surrender. He faces a felony riot charge stemming from a May Day brawl at a Northeast Portland cidery.
Videos showed people at Cider Riot using chemical spray and several other people fighting.
Gibson’s lawyer, James Buchal, told The Associated Press none of the videos from the incident show Gibson being violent.
The 35-year-old Patriot Prayer leader previously told KOIN 6 News he believes the felony riot charge is politically motivated and an attempt by the city of Portland to ban him from the streets.
His surrender comes ahead of Saturday’s planned protests between ultra-right wing and ultra-left wing groups in downtown Portland.
As he walked into the justice center on Friday, Gibson delivered a call-to-action to waiting members of the media.
“I’m asking everyone to show up tomorrow. I don’t know how long I’m gonna be in jail for — but I ask everybody to peacefully show up, stand your ground. You do not bend a knee to a government that wants to shut us up.”
Gibson likened the situation in Portland to ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
“This is exactly what the Chinese government is doing to the protesters of Hong Kong; they go after the leaders and they charge them with rioting, even though they’re not. It’s the exact same thing,” he said. “What happens though is the people of Hong Kong have refused to bend the knee, they refuse to stand down. I’m saying we should do the exact same thing. We’re not gonna stand down to Mayor Wheeler — we’re not gonna stand down to the corrupt charges that they’re bringing on us.”
Gibson was booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center on $5,000 bail. He posted bail a few hours later and was released.
The Portland Police Bureau said Gibson will be arraigned on Monday.
The investigation into the Cider Riot brawl continues.
This is a developing story and KOIN 6 News will continue to follow it.