Alan Swinney: Man With ‘Proud Boy’ Tattoo Pointed Gun at Protesters, Cops Say

alan swinney

Multnomah County Detention Center Alan James Swinney

Alan James Swinney is the man facing charges after prosecutors said he pointed a gun at a group of protesters in Portland, Oregon. The incident, which took place on August 22, was recorded and the footage was shared widely on social media.

Swinney supports the right-wing Proud Boys group and has the name “Proud Boy” tattooed on his arm, Reuters reported. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the organization a hate group.

Swinney was arrested the day after President Donald Trump said, during the first debate against Joe Biden, that the Proud Boys needed to “stand back and standby.” The president said this after moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacy. The day after the debate, Trump reiterated to CBS News that he didn’t know “who the Proud Boys are” but said they needed to “stand down.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. A Local Journalist Identified Alan Swinney as the Man Pointing a Gun at the Crowd in Video Shared to Twitter

Swinney is facing charges that stem from physical confrontations that erupted between protesters and counterprotesters in Portland, Oregon. On August 22, right-wing activists and “armed militia members” gathered for a rally at the Justice Center in a show of support for the police, the Washington Post reported. Black Lives Matter protesters were also there and the two sides violently collided for more than two hours. People used bats, sticks, paintball guns and pepper spray against each other but the Portland Police did little to intervene, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

OPB reporter Sergio Olmos was on the scene that day and shared several videos of the melee on Twitter. He identified Swinney by name in at least four videos.

Swinney was filmed pointing a paintball gun at the crowd. About an hour later, Olmos posted the video that claimed to show Swinney aiming a gun. As Olmos reported at the time, no shots were fired.

A third video showed Swinney telling a journalist he needed to move. Swinney’s face was visible in that clip. Swinney was also recorded warning Black Lives Matter protesters they would be maced.

2. Swinney Pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to 12 Charges Including Assault & Unlawful Use of a Weapon

alan swinney

Multnomah County Detention CenterAlan Swinney is accused of pointing a gun at protesters in Portland, Oregon.

Swinney is facing 12 charges in connection to the violent confrontations in Portland. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt summarized the indictment in a news release:

In summary, the indictment alleges that Swinney used a paintball gun on August 15, 2020 to cause physical injury to another person; that he unlawfully discharged mace or a similar substance at someone and that he attempted to assault others, including one instance using the paintball gun.

Further, the indictment alleges that Swinney used a paintball gun on August 22, 2020 to once again cause physical injury to another person; that he also carried and then pointed a revolver at someone which placed that person in fear of imminent serious physical injury and that he unlawfully discharged mace or a similar substance toward another person.

Swinney was arrested on September 30. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center just after 6:30 a.m., inmate records show. The charges include:

  • Pointing a firearm at another person
  • 3 counts of unlawful use of a weapon
  • 2 counts of unlawful use of mace in the second degree
  • 2 counts of assault in the second degree
  • Assault in the fourth degree
  • Attempted assault in the fourth degree
  • Attempted Assault in the second degree
  • Menacing

alan swinney proud boys

Oregon Judicial DepartmentAlan Swinney is accused of pointing a gun at protesters in Portland, Oregon. He pleaded not guilty.

According to online records with the Oregon Judicial Department, Swinney pleaded “not guilty” on all 12 charges during the arraignment hearing on October 1. Future court hearings were scheduled for November 13 and January 7, 2021.

3. Swinney Claimed Self-Defense in an Online Fundraiser

alan swinney proud boys

GiveSendGoAlan Swinney is accused of pointing a gun at protesters in Portland, Oregon.

Swinney pleaded “not guilty” in court to all of the charges but he has admitted to pointing a gun at the crowd in Portland. He made that admission on an online fundraising platform he launched for “legal fees.”

The campaign on “Give Send Go,” a Christian crowdfunding site, includes a photo of Swinney holding a paintball gun and wearing a helmet. On his “fundraising story,” Swinney claimed he pulled a gun in self-defense during the August 22 rally. This is what he wrote in full:

I have been going to Trump rallies since August 2018. The more rallies you go to, the harder antifa and BLM try to target you. I was at a rally in Portland on August 22nd 2020 when antifa showed up and attacked our rally. They threw rocks and bricks, urine, glass bottles, commercial grade fireworks, paint. They sprayed us with bear spray, shot us in the eyes with lasers trying to blind us. They target me hard at rallies since I dont allow them to attack people. I used less-lethal paint balls and mace in an attempt to stop their attacks. Later they were using a large caliber paintball gun with riot balls on me and other flag wavers, and I pulled a gun and stopped their assault.

I am being prosecuted today because I didnt allow left wing terrorists to attack me and others at the rally. I am now being sued by the terrorists that were attacking us and persecuted for not allowing Antifa and BLM to attack us.

alan swinney proud boys

GiveSendGoAlan Swinney is accused of pointing a gun at protesters in Portland, Oregon.

According to The Hill, Swinney promoted the fundraiser on Twitter with the message, “Help me fight these people. Please like and retweet. Every retweet makes a terrorist lose his or her mind.” Swinney’s Twitter account has since been suspended.

4. Swinney Faces a Separate Lawsuit From a Woman Who Claimed He Shot Her in the Chest With a Paintball Gun

Swinney is facing additional legal trouble for the August confrontations. Oregon Judicial Department records list Swinney as the defendant in two separate civil lawsuits.

The first case was filed on August 31 by plaintiff Meg McLain. According to court documents cited by KOIN-TV, McLain claims Swinney shot her in the chest with a paintball gun during the August 22 rally and she is asking for $250,000 in damages. McLain said she was “peacefully observing the rally” when Swinney shot her. She claimed he fired at her on purpose.

Swinney was also named as one of three defendants in a separate civil suit filed on September 25. The other defendants, according to Oregon Judicial Department records, are David Willis and Corey Wyatt. According to the Oregonian, the plaintiffs claim the three men assaulted them during the Portland rallies and have demanded damages of $1.25 million.

5. The Proud Boys Say Swinney Is Not an Official Group Member, According to Reports

Swinney supports the Proud Boys and has a “Proud Boy” tattoo on his arm, according to Reuters. But the group says Swinney is not officially a member. President Rex Fergus told the Oregonian that Swinney, along with Willis and Wyatt, “are not associated” with the group.

New York Times correspondent Mike Baker also clarified Swinney’s involvement with the Proud Boys in a September 30 tweet: “While Swinney has a ‘PROUD BOY’ tattoo on his arm, has said ‘I’m a proud boy’ and was a promoter of the Proud Boys event this past weekend, the group says he’s not a ‘member.'”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Proud Boys as a hate group:

Established in the midst of the 2016 presidential election by VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys are self-described “western chauvinists” who adamantly deny any connection to the racist “alt-right,” insisting they are simply a fraternal group spreading an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda.

The Proud Boys deny having any involvement with white supremacy. Spokesperson Ronald D. Coleman provided statements from one of the group’s leaders, Enrique Tarrio, to USA Today. Tarrio was quoted in an email to the newspaper insisting that the Proud Boys have “longstanding regulations prohibiting racist, white supremacist or violent activity” and that “We do not care what color you are or what your background is… if you love America… we consider you a brother.”

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