A self-proclaimed Proud Boy involved in clashes with counter-protesters in Portland last year was found guilty by an Oregon jury of 11 charges on Tuesday including the unlawful use of a weapon.
The charges stem from clashes between right-wing and left-wing demonstrators in Portland on Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 last year.
Alan Swinney, 51, according to court documents, fired a paintball gun and unlawfully discharged bear mace to hurt others on Aug. 15 last year. In a separate incident a week later, Swinney shot a woman in the chest with a paintball gun during a street brawl that involved members of the Proud Boys and Antifa in downtown Portland.
The woman who was fired at by Swinney testified she was left with “significant bruising” and had sleepless nights, a statement from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said.
“Swinney became a known entity in Portland during last years’ protests, calling himself a ‘Patriot’ and appearing at multiple demonstrations in the Northwest wherein he instigated and committed violent acts under the banner of free speech and pro-police sentiments,” the statement said.
After a six-day trial, a 12-person jury found Swinney guilty of one count of assault in the second degree, two counts of unlawful use of mace in the second degree, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon (paintball gun), menacing, attempted assault in the fourth degree, attempted assault in the second degree, pointing a firearm at another, assault in the fourth degree, and unlawful use of a weapon (firearm).
Swinney was found not guilty of one of the assault charges filed against him.
On the witness stand Swinney, was unapologetic for his actions at two flag-waving events in Portland which he said were harassed by left-wing “agitators” who threw bottles, rocks, and other objects, reported Oregon Live.
“I’m tired of it. I don’t know what to do anymore. When the city won’t let the police protect you, and then they won’t let you protect yourself, then … I’m human too,” Swinney said Friday. “I don’t feel bad for them when stuff happens to them, whenever they’re doing bad things. You know, the karma bus came and hit them.”
Swinney testified that he brought the handgun to the Aug. 22, 2020 flag-waving event after he received death threats following an event a week earlier, stated the Oregon Live report.
The former U.S. Army serviceman said he pulled and pointed the handgun after he ran out of bear spray and paintball ammunition, while counter-protesters were shooting at him and others in the flag-waving group with some type of projectiles, the report said.
Some news outlets reported that Swinney is a Proud Boys member and has “Proud Boys” tattooed on his left arm. Enrique Tarrio, the Proud Boys leader, told journalist Andy Ngô last year that Swinney is not a member and never has been.
Proud Boys says it advocates for the Second Amendment, closed borders, and minimal government. Members have been involved in violent clashes with Antifa, a far-left, anarcho-communist group, in several cities in the past.
Last year, Portland was the scene of numerous bouts of political street violence as well as riotous behavior by Antifa members that included attacking a federal courthouse. The city also had to deal with months of unrest by Black Lives Matter activists and other left-wing demonstrators.
One Patriot Prayer supporter was killed in Portland on Aug. 29, 2020, by a self-described Antifa member who was later shot dead by law enforcement officers carrying out an arrest warrant days after the initial killing.
Swinney’s sentencing date hasn’t been set yet. He has been held in detention since his arrest on Sept. 30, 2020.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.