Published: Thu, June 01, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Portland stabbing suspect yells slogans at court hearing

Portland stabbing suspect yells slogans at court hearing

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, were killed Friday as they tried to stop Jeremy Joseph Christian from harassing the women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, authorities say.

"Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom", he added.

In court documents, prosecutors say Christian confessed while in the back seat of a police auto after his arrest. "You hear me? Die", Christian screamed while being led out of the court.

Christian, who was known for expressing white supremacist beliefs, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder, as well as one count of first-degree assault, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon. His next court date is June 7.

Destinee Mangum could not hold back her tears as she thanked the three men who came to her defense as she and a friend rode the Portland light rail system.

Police say Christian has extensive associations with white supremacist and anti-immigrant hate groups.

"And then we turned around while they were fighting, and he just started stabbing people, and it was just blood everywhere, and we just started running for our lives", Mangum said.

Police and witnesses say the victims were defending two teen girls who were the focus of Christian's tirade.

Both are black and one was wearing a Muslim head covering, according to the affidavit signed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Lufkin.

Earlier this year, organizers of a small community parade affiliated with the city's famous Rose Festival canceled the celebration over fears of violence after protesters said the local Republican Party had plans to allow a "neo-Nazi hate group" to march with them. The interviewer wrote that Christian became loud and animated when talking about what he believed to be the suppression of free speech.

In the aftermath of the attack the Muslim Education Trust and CelebrateMercy, started a crowdfunding campaign for the victims in order to "respond to hate with love".

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In his interview with KPTV, Fletcher choked up when he spoke about the two men who died. As a shoving match ensued, the documents say Christian stabbed first Fletcher, then Namkai-Meche.

"I got stabbed in the neck on my way to work, randomly, by a stranger I don't know, for trying to just be a nice person", said the 21-year-old university student.

Christian got off the train at the Hollywood Transit Center, threatened several people on the platform, and left the area.

The Associated Press reported that Christian had confessed to the killings while in the back seat of a patrol auto after he was arrested.

Christian, who was being recorded while in the back of the vehicle, said,"I'm happy now. I can rest easy".

"There are attempts to whitewash this incident as an anomaly, to depoliticize the situation, saying that the alt-right, the Klan, whoever, those supporting the alt-right and those the alt-right so vigorously supports should not be blamed for the actions of a mentally ill man. Nonsense".

"I am calling on every elected leader in OR, every legal agency, every level of law enforcement to stand with me in preventing another tragedy". "I call it patriotism".

What is more frightening is that day by day such disgusting acts of homophobia, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are increasing, painting a gloomy picture for the future of America.

"Detectives have received many tips about the suspect's prior behavior and interactions with members of the community and will continue to investigate this information", said Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

On that same day Christian, who shows support for Vermont Sen.

Christian "reports he is transient and does not know the last time he had a permanent address", the documents said.

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