Five victims, one hate-filled man

The triple stabbing that occurred in Portland

By Katie Czenczek, Contributor

 

A city that prides itself on tolerance was horrifically reminded that there is no utopian society that is free of hate and violence. Only approximately a 5-hour drive from Vancouver, the city of Portland recently experienced hate that will indefinitely affect whoever was taking the MAX light rail train station that day.

A white supremacist had a violent outburst on May 26, which marks the beginning of Ramadan. Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, spewed racist and islamophobic insults at Destinee Mangum, 16, and her friend as they rode the MAX light rail train to the Hollywood transit station. The girls, who were frightened, moved to the other side of the train while three strangers stood up to defend them. The first was Talesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, who was fatally stabbed by Christian. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, followed him, but luckily survived the slash to his carotid artery. The final man that stood up to Christian was Ricky John Best, 53, who also perished at the hands of the increasingly belligerent man. The two men were given a candlelight vigil within the heart of Portland by people from all over the city the following day.

Christian, who was drinking sangria from a pouch during the time of the stabbing, was growing increasingly agitated in the upcoming weeks leading up to the stabbing, according to a friend that tried to support Christian in court. He has been known to promote racist and Islamophobic ideas on his Facebook page, and has been an avid believer in “free speech.”

Christian was arraigned on May 30 and is being charged with nine criminal offenses, including two counts of aggravated murder and unlawful possession of a weapon. Christian was just as belligerent within the courtroom, stating that he believed his violent act displayed “patriotism,” only to be silenced by the immense crowd that came in honour of the families affected by his actions. His next hearing will be on June 7.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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