May 30, 2017 The self-proclaimed white nationalist suspected of stabbing three men on a Portland train last week appeared at a arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
Jeremy Christian was a vocal participant in recent “alt-right” rallies in Portland. He was spotted at a “free speech rally” at Montavilla City Park on April 29, giving Nazi salutes, shouting racist slurs and approaching anti-fascist demonstrators armed with a baseball bat. Police reportedly confiscated a baseball bat from him the same day.
According to court documents, Christian first stabbed Micah Fletcher in the neck and then stabbed Taliesin Namkai-Meche followed by Ricky Best. The three men stood up to Christian when he yelled derogatory racist and religious remarks at a black teen and her friend who was wearing a hijab on the train. He then continuing showing the knife to people as he got off the train at the Hollywood Transit center. Some witnesses pursued Christian until police arrested him several blocks away.
Portland Police Sargeant, Pete Simpson confirmed the authenticity of a cell phone video taken the day before the TriMet Light Rail stabbing. KOIN News posted the video footage captured by a passenger that shows Christian ranting about Muslims, Christians and Jews on a train and then threatening to stab the driver of the train.
Jeremy Christian, 35, of North Portland faces several charges including two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder. Federal authorities are working with Portland police and the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether to pursue federal hate crime or civil rights charges against him.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has struggled
to label incidents that clearly fit the guidelines of a domestic terrorism as such. Some victims and families of those killed by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan in the Fort Hood massacre in 2009 voiced their frustration with the government’s labeling the attack as workplace violence instead of domestic terrorism. Investigators in the San Bernardino attack were also hesitant to label the incident domestic terrorism.
There has been much heated debate nearly every time there’s an act of mass violence in the country. U.S. States Attorney’s and prosecutor are reluctant to charge terrorism suspects under relatively new state and federal terrorism laws — often with no precedent. Political correctness also plays a role.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."