We’ve seen the photo of Alan Swinney aiming his weapons at counter protesters on August 22, 2020. Many of us were present that day or watched via live streams. We also read social media updates as right-wing extremists descended upon Portland spreading hate.
Swinney wasn’t alone that day. He was surrounded and encouraged by many members of The Proud Boys, COPS NW, and other violent extremist hate groups. Swinney was also accompanied by a law enforcement agent and his partner. Swinney’s own letter, posted by a friend to FB, shared this detail.
Swinney stated a Sheriff’s deputy was by his side that day and that a deputy had been fired for posting in Swinney’s defense. It is presumed these posts were published on social media.
In September 2020, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) fired Radek Popisil because he published a post supporting Swinney on social media. We cannot confirm if Popisil was the same deputy with Swinney on August 22. John The Lefty posted some of Popisil’s comments and cataloged his support of Swinney.
Popisil was subsequently fired. Swinney was jailed and is serving a harsh sentence. Mystery solved? Hardly.
In the fiery fall of 2020, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department became embroiled in another controversy when a deputy promoted illegal activity and encouraged far-right militia activity while being recorded. Citizens had set up roadblocks and were threateningly manning armed patrols of neighborhoods. The people stationed at the roadblocks illegally stopped cars and questioned drivers of their intent to enter or pass through an area. Some drivers were racially profiled, like Latoya Robinson, who was questioned by a ‘heavily armed’ man carrying a AR-style long gun and a visible sidearm. The man stated at one point during the illegal stop, “You’re not from around here, are you?” Coverage of the vigilantism was reported by The Guardian:
Eventually the men let her pass on to her friend’s place. On her return journey, she was stopped again. She said she saw two Multnomah county sheriff’s office (MCSO) cruisers stopped by the roadblock, and an officer talking with one of the people running it. She said the deputies did nothing to intervene in the illegal stop.
Another local resident, who asked not to be named due to safety concerns, said she had been stopped on Friday evening in a similar fashion on Louden. She said she saw an MCSO cruiser driving in her direction, away from a second roadblock structure 50 yards ahead, leading her to assume that police were aware of the vigilante activities.
Additionally, MCSO Sgt. Bryan White attended a citizen’s meeting where he provided tips to the same armed citizens on how to document “suspicious” citizens. His advice: Photograph and track them.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury told Multnomah County Sheriff Michael Reese to investigate the incident and report the findings back to the county commission. “I will absolutely not tolerate vigilantism of any kind in Multnomah County,” she stated. The result: Internal Affairs Unit initiated an internal investigation and found that MCSO members did not violate any work rules or laws. In other words, MSCO investigated itself and discovered their employees did not support militia activities.
In 2021, a collection of data from the Oath Keeper’s was leaked. Journalists and community groups poured over the data and identified law enforcement agents from around the country in its group. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Jonathan Levinson published about Oregon law enforcement’s infiltration and support of this group. In the article, he identified retired MCSO corrections deputy Phil Farrell as a participant. Sheriff Michael Reese provided clear and direct condemnation of membership.
“Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese called membership in an anti-government organization like the Oath Keepers reprehensible.”
Where they stand: A) Reese condemned membership, B) PIO stated staff “did not support,” and C) Chair Kafoury laid down the law with zero tolerance. With these high-profile connections of MCSO to white-nationalist extremists, we are sure the Sheriff hoped this would all go away.
Now, almost 2 years later, P.R.A.D.A. has located an MCSO deputy publicly promoting allegiance to the far right.
Oregon’s DPSST shows Michael A. Wood as a MCSO Deputy who started in 2001 and is actively employed.
P.R.A.D.A. identified someone named Michael A. Wood residing in Mulino, Oregon. There is a Facebook account with the username Mike Wood and display name “Mulino Mike.”
Mulino Mike’s public Facebook account shares many images that promote symbols and content from the far-right.
Wood has a photo on his profile wearing a Gruntstyle Hoodie that features an Infidel skull patch, the Gadsden Flag, and a Molon Labe patch. Infidel patches promote an Islamophobic meaning and are tied to extremists groups in Canada.
The most glaring promotion of extremism is in the flags shown waving from a garage.
Shown in the image above are three flags: a Thin Blue Line flag with a Punisher skull, a Three Percent US Flag, and a Gadsden Flag. Each a symbol of the far-right and together promoting a large showing of support. The thin blue line with a Punisher skull is a racially charged symbol: the thin blue line a counter response to the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement and the Punisher’s image is used to promote violent vigilantism. The Three Percenter flag places the roman numerals for 3 where the stars should be on the American flag. The Three Percenter movement has many ties to extremism, harm and hateful violence, insurrection. The group has been labeled a terrorist organization in Canada. The Gadsen flag has been used by the far-right for years.
Wood also posted a photo wearing a tee shirt with the MCSO CERT logo holding his chicken.
CERT stands for Corrections Emergency Response Team and is a division of MCSO. Wood also posted the image below, alluding to his position as a corrections officer.
Wood also posted this image with the URL: Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children an armory and right-wing news blog and podcast.
Clearly, Mike Wood can post what he likes to his own social media profiles. However, his postings support an ideology that supports and advocates for hate towards marginalized communities, violence to anyone that counters these beliefs, and the overthrow of the US democratic project. The posts also infer he belongs to a far-right group.
A democratically elected Sheriff should have an interest in these posts. Especially when MCSO employees have displayed a pattern of support towards far-right ideologies that Sheriff Reese has called, “reprehensible.”
Participation in racist organizations and displays of symbols of racism or racial supremacy are at odds with the position of trust and authority law enforcement officers occupy.
We have reached out to the Sheriff‘s office for comment and confirmation. We will update this article when and if we hear back.