Published: Tue, May 30, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Portland mayor urges cancellation of Trump rally

Portland mayor urges cancellation of Trump rally

Journalist Dan Rather on Sunday penned an emotional open letter to President Trump, calling on him publicly address the stabbing attack in Portland that left two men dead after they tried to intervene against a white supremacist.

Witnesses say two of the men lost their lives when they tried to calm down a man berating two young women, who are believed to be Muslim, with hate speech.

The man, since identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian, entered through doors on one side of the train, and stepped across the aisle to a pole by the doors on the opposite side of the train.

Not only was he deemed a vile racist and disavowed by the people at the rally, but "the Trump people" specifically stated at the time that he's not with them. A memorial grew all day Saturday outside the transit center in Portland, as people stopped with flowers, candles, signs and painted rocks. Her daughter is African-American and was with a friend who was wearing a hijab, she said.

He said he met Chase Robinson and Larry Blackwell, and the three men confronted the suspect, who turned on them with a knife.

Jeremy Christian was arrested after fleeing the scene and has been charged with aggravated murder.

The Portland Police yesterday identified the two slain victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.

"[The suspect] was just cursing, cursing, cursing, and so the passengers were getting nervous so the girls moved to our area", said Arsenia Brittell, who was seated behind the driver of the train.

Wheeler said the city of Portland "has not and will not issue any permits for the alt-right events", but it's the federal government that controls permitting for the downtown plaza.

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Mangum shared a similar account with KPTV, saying the man had told them to get out of the country and to "go back to Saudi Arabia".

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she was "heartbroken" by the attack.

Police are investigating the suspect Christian.

The men who had intervened were viciously attacked, police said.

"It will probably be easier if you guys don't contact family, or my mother, or even me", she said. He actually just recently graduated from Reed College in Portland and was just starting his career in economics.

"[Christian] said, 'Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don't pay taxes here, ' [he said he] doesn't like Muslims, they're criminals", Evelin Hernandez, a witness riding in the train vehicle, told KATU. Police say he also stabbed a third person in the incident, who is now in the hospital. According to The Oregonian, the 21-year-old was on his way from classes at Portland State University to his job at a pizza shop when the attack occurred.

"Now more than ever, ADL is sounding the alarm about domestic terrorism and hate crimes in America", Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO said in a statement. However, Christian faces intimidation charges, the state equivalent of a hate crime.

Meche's mother, Asha Deliverance of Ashland, Oregon, confirmed on Facebook that her son had been killed. At one point, he threatens to stab the driver of the train Thursday, according to video from a passenger posted by TV station KOIN.

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