PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Facebook pages for the right-wing group Patriot Prayer and its leader Joey Gibson were removed from the social media platform on Friday.
Gibson confirmed to KOIN 6 News that the social media giant removed the pages.
“Antifa groups murdered my friend while he is walking home, and instead of the multibillion dollar company banning Portland antifa pages they ban Patriot Prayer and myself,” Gibson said in a statement.
The removal of the pages came hours after federal authorities shot and killed Michael Reinoehl, a man connected with the investigation into the deadly shooting of Aaron J. Danielson, Patriot Prayer supporter, near a pro-Trump caravan rally and counterprotest last Saturday.
Facebook confirmed the pages were removed due to its “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy, which OPB’s Troy Brynelson first reported.
“They were removed as part of our ongoing efforts to remove Violent Social Militias from our platforms,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, who pointed to the policy that was expanded last month.
Joey Gibson’s previous legal issues
Joey Gibson was charged with felony riot for his alleged involvement in a 2019 May Day brawl at a Northeast Portland bar called Cider Riot.
On August 27, 2019, Gibson pleaded not guilty to a felony riot charge. He was booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center on $5,000 bail, posted bail a few hours later and was released.
He 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.
The maximum sentence for conviction on felony riot — a Class C felony — is 5 years in prison.
In February 2020, the firm representing Gibson filed a motion claiming there is an unfair bias against its client if the trial is held in Portland and asked for a change of venue.
“A uniform and organized campaign of propaganda from Portland leaders, news media, and political opponents has demonized Mr. Gibson, as a violent, white supremacist, Nazi,” said Angus Lee Law Firm in a motion issued at that time. “Political leaders in Portland, sensing the public mood, have repeatedly exacerbated and exploited this propaganda campaign, to the point of issuing formal resolutions condemning him.”
At this time, no trial date has been set in any venue.
KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.