The accused is not guilty of shooting 5 people in protestOn March 25, 2022 by editor
A man has been convicted of killing a woman and shooting four others during a protest against racial justice in Oregon in February.
ByThe Associated Press
March 25, 2022, 12:47 AM
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Portland, Ore. A man convicted of killing a woman and shooting four others during a racially motivated protest in Oregon in February has been sentenced by the Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Oregon Public Broadcasting said Benjamin Smith, 43, was not guilty Thursday of three counts of one count of murder, four counts of attempted murder and one count of assault with a firearm.
Smith confronted a group of people to divert traffic from a racial justice demonstration in northeast Portland Park and shouted for them to leave, according to an affidavit written by eyewitnesses and deputy district attorney Mariel Motar.
According to the affidavit, a video of people arguing was heard telling Smith to leave them alone.
“(Smith) responds by demanding that he ‘go’ and he aggressively approaches a participant who pushes him back,” wrote the affidavit. “(Smith) yells at the participants and a few moments later, (he) pulls a handgun and fires at multiple people, hitting five.”
June Brandy Knightley, 60, died during the encounter and four others were injured. The other victims could not be identified in court records, but Mota’s February 22 affidavit stated that one had been shot in the neck and paralyzed. Another was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds, while the other two were treated and released.
Someone in the crowd shot Smith that night after he started firing on protesters, based on witness statements and court documents. His recovery delayed his accusation.
Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 5.