May 17, 2022
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt announces Michael Edgar Bivins, 34, arraigned for arson, bias crimes, other charges
PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Michael Edgar Bivins, 34, has been arraigned on 11 charges including one count of Arson in the First Degree, five counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and five counts of Bias Crime in the Second Degree.
The charges stem from incidents between April 30, 2022, and May 4, 2022. The incidents are as follows:
On April 30, Bivins allegedly smashed a large plate glass window at Shir Tikvah on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The crime was captured on video surveillance. The estimated cost to replace the window exceeds $1,000.
On May 1, Bivins allegedly broke a window at Everybody Eats PDX, a Black-owned business, on Northwest 10th Avenue. The estimated cost to replace the window is approximately $1,800.
On May 2, Bivins allegedly vandalized the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue on Northwest Flanders Street by spray painting the words “Die Juden” on the north side of the building in yellow paint.
On May 3, Bivins allegedly set fire to the exterior of the Muslim Community Center of Portland on North Vancouver Avenue. Video surveillance captured a male, later identified as Bivins, pouring fluid on the northeast wall of the Center and subsequently throwing a matchbook on the liquid causing it to erupt in flames. Bivins can be seen briefly walking away from the fire and returning with a lit piece of cloth and throwing it in the area where he had poured the fluid.
On May 4, Bivens returned to the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue and allegedly threw a rock through a window of a school connected to the Synagogue. The estimated cost to replace the window exceeds $1,000.
On May 4, Bivins allegedly went to KPTV Fox 12 news station located in Portland and asked to speak to a specific news reporter. The first reporter he asked to speak with was unavailable, so he spoke to another. According to the reporter, Bivins made anti-semitic remarks and indicated he was involved in the crimes against Shir Tikvah, Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, Muslim Community Center of Portland, adding that he would break the window of any Black-owned or minority-owned business. He stated that he would return to the station the following Friday to have additional discussions.
On May 6, Bivins was detained by Portland Police officers. He told officers that he spoke with the KPTV Fox 12 reporter, however, he alleged they only discussed the economy and President Joe Biden.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office was an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft the language that was in Senate Bill 577. The law, which went into effect on July 15, 2019, renamed the crime of “intimidation” to “bias crime,” added gender identity to the list of protected categories, and removed the requirement that two or more people commit the crime in order to make it a felony in certain circumstances.
Under Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, the office has developed and published a Bias Crimes Data Dashboard to raise awareness about bias crime and bias crime prosecution with the aim of reducing the occurrence of these crimes.
All potential bias crime cases, whether they are a felony or misdemeanor, are reviewed by the Violent Crimes Unit within the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. If a misdemeanor bias crime is issued, the felony-level attorney will retain the case.
If you are the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Bivins is innocent unless and until proven guilty.