PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has rejected Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson’s pre-trial attempt to put an end to a $1 million lawsuit filed against him by a Portland pub owner who claims he has lost business after Gibson led a melee there.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Multnomah County Circuit Judge Andrew Lavin said Friday that Gibson and other supporters were exercising their rights to free speech and political demonstration when they showed up outside Cider Riot on May Day. However, he added, a jury could find that they took things a step beyond their constitutionally protected rights.
Lavin said he doesn’t think a jury could reasonably find that Gibson himself physically acted out during the May Day confrontation in ways made him criminally or civilly liable. But Lavin said there is “sufficient circumstantial evidence” that could lead jurors to find Gibson “ratified, coordinated or directed” others to act out in ways that were criminal or opened them up to civil liability.