Portland ex-journalist lauded for covering right-wing groups found mentally unfit for hate crimes trial

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On Thursday, former Portland journalist Michael Bivins, 35, was ordered to the Oregon State Hospital after being found unfit to stand trial on May 3rd. He was set to stand trial for arson, four counts of criminal mischief, and five bias crimes against religious institutions in 2022. 

Bivins was accused of vandalizing the Shir Tikvah and the Jewish Synagogue Congregation Beth Israel, as well as setting fire to the Muslim Community Center of Portland while people were inside.

Prior to this he was known for his coverage of right-wing rallies and protests including many viral videos of riots in Portland. In May of 2020, The Post Millennial  Editor-at-large Andy Ngo broke the news of Bevins Arrest.

Ngo said, “His last DM to me in 2020 was a message critical of me posting #Antifa riot mugshots.”

At the time of his arrest, journalists who had worked with Bevins began to distance themselves from him. The news editor for Willamette Week, Aaron Mesh, said, “Mike Bivins wrote for @wweek from 2017 to 2019. He covered street brawls and other political polarization for us (along with selling video to local and national outlets). We’re conducting a review of his work.”

“Since I expect to get asked about this: Mike and I shared a byline once on a story about rising right-wing extremism in Portland, but we reported and filed entirely separately and the story was stitched together later in editing. I really can’t speak to his life, or this event,” freelance journalist Corey Pein said.

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