DA Mike Schmidt announces guilty verdict in 2020 protest case

PORTLAND, Oregon – Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that on Wednesday, November 16, a 12-person jury rendered a guilty verdict for Timothy Swales on two charges including Felony Elude and Reckless Driving. A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge sentenced him to 18-months formal probation and temporarily revoked his license.

In July 2020, a group of over one hundred protesters blocked all lanes of traffic in the area of the Portland Police Bureau Southeast Precinct off of East Burnside and Southeast 47th Avenue. Portland police officers commanded the group to disperse. The group did not comply. Officers subsequently formed a line and walked west to move the crowd away from the area. As officers walked, a vehicle without plates approached them from behind, driving in the direction of the officers and the protesters.

An officer approached the driver, Swales, and commanded him to stop the vehicle and turn off the engine. Swales did not comply and continued to drive in the direction of the officers and protesters. Officers continued to command Swales to stop the vehicle. The car then stopped before lurching forward several times in the direction of the officers.

Officers then broke a passenger window to gain entry to the vehicle to stop it. Swales then put the car in reverse at a speed of approximately 30 miles per hour and attempted to make a J-turn. A responding patrol car then struck Swales’s car to stop it. An open container of alcohol was found in Swales’s vehicle. He was arrested at the scene. The incident was captured on video.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office issued nearly 200 protest-related cases between 2020 and 2022 for criminal prosecution. Each case is in various stages of the prosecutorial process, including pending trial, plea agreement, sentenced to prison or probation, or in warrant status. Visit MCDA’s press release page for both real-time information on protest cases and other cases of public interest and as an archive of past cases.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Portland Police Bureau for their work on this case.