NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A frequent critic of Norfolk’s city government has been found guilty of disorderly conduct.

Michael Muhammad on Monday was given 90 days in jail on the misdemeanor charge, with 80 days suspended. According to his team, Muhammad also received a 12-month ban from city hall. He plans to appeal during the city council meeting set for Tuesday.

Muhammad was charged by Norfolk police officer Alexander Benshoff after an incident outside council chambers on December 7, 2021. Video of the encounter was presented in court on Monday, with Muhammad telling the court that he didn’t demonstrate disorderly conduct.

“We were all upset, there was never a threat of violence or anything that interfered with public discourse in council … but this officer with a personal animus and a personal axe to grind, Alexander Benshoff, attacked me.”

It was clear from the testimony there was bad blood between the officer and Muhammad.

Benshoff would take out a restraining order against Muhammad when his home address was published but later pulled it back. He told the court that Muhammad told him “I’m coming for you, I hope you’re killed in the line of duty, I will spit on your grave.”

Muhammad has alleged there is conspiracy by council, police and the commonwealth’s attorney’s office to keep him silent and out of “the town square.” All but one of Norfolk’s city council members, the city manager, and the city attorney all were subpoenaed in the case, but in the end they didn’t need to testify.

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander said “I do not even know why I’m here,” adding that he and the council didn’t witness the incident.

Councilman Tommy Smigiel told WAVY outside court earlier in the day before the verdict was read to stand by and be ready to come to the court if needed, and the case was “just a huge waste of time.”

After Muhammad was found guilty, Mayor Kenny Alexander texted WAVY’s Andy Fox this statement:

“Council members, city attorney, and manager were subpoenaed by the Defense not the Commonwealth. I don’t know why; and I don’t know why we were excused. The disorderly conduct arrest and charge arises from an event that happened in city hall, but outside of the council chambers. We weren’t eyewitnesses to the disorderly conduct. The city council did not file the charges, and we weren’t asked by the commonwealth to testify. We were subpoenaed by the defendant.”