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Police investigate Portland stabbing suspect’s extremist ideology

A sign rests against a wall May 29, 2017, in Portland, Ore., at a makeshift memorial for two men killed on a commuter train while trying to stop another man from harassing two young women who appeared to be Muslim. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Terray Sylvester

PORTLAND, Ore. (USA Today Network)  A man facing murder charges after he allegedly fatally stabbed two people and injured another on a Portland light-rail train has a history of run-ins with law enforcement and is a self-proclaimed white supremacist, authorities said.

Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, of North Portland, Ore., is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on May 27, 2017. Portland Police Bureau/Handout via Reuters

Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felony possession of a restricted weapon stemming from the Friday (May 26) attack. Christian makes his first court appearance Monday.

Portland homicide detectives are investigating what led to the attack, including taking an extensive look at Christian’s background and extremist ideology, police said.

“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.

Witnesses said Christian stabbed three people who tried to calm him down after he was directing hate speech at two women on the train who are believed to be Muslim. One woman was wearing a hijab.

The attack happened Friday, the first day of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims.

President Trump condemned the stabbings, writing Monday on Twitter: “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he appreciated Trump’s words but stressed the need for action. Wheeler urged organizers to cancel a “Trump Free Speech Rally” in Portland and other similar events next weekend, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous.

Christian recently gained local notoriety at a “Free Speech” march in Portland in April. He was draped with the American flag and reportedly chanting the N-word throughout the march.

Conservatives, liberals and anarchists rejected Christian at the march.

On his Facebook page, Christian shared a post with a video and photo of him performing a Nazi salute during the march. In a comment on his page Christian proclaimed, “I am White and a Nationalist for Vinland.”

His Facebook page is full of disturbing posts supporting white supremacy, attacking women, mocking transgender people. It shows a man obsessed with fascism.

In a post three days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, Christian posted, “If Donald Trump is the Next Hitler then I am joining his SS to put an end to Monotheist Question.”

On that same day Christian, who shows support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on his Facebook page, posted a death threat about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

He also called Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber a true patriot.

In addition to Christian’s Facebook posts, he has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement.

In 2002, he pleaded guilty to robbery and kidnapping for reportedly handcuffing the owner of a market to a counter and stealing cash and cigarettes. The Oregonian reported he was shot in the face as police tried to take him into custody.

In another incident in 2002, Christian was charged with use of a dangerous weapon and supplying contraband.

In 2010, he was charged with theft and felon in possession of a firearm.

On Saturday, Portland police said a review of Christian’s record “shows he is not flagged as a criminal gang member, nor does he have any known mental health history listed.”

Wheeler and City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly denounced Christian’s actions and applauded the victims’ bravery for standing up to Christian.

“Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn’t know against hatred. Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes,” Wheeler said.

“We need to offer our heartfelt support to the women and others who were targeted. The courage of the people who stood up for them is a reminder that we as a city need to stand together to denounce the hate,” Eudaly said.

(Nate Hanson writes for KGW-TV, in Portland, Ore. The Associated Press contributed to this report)

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

30 Comments

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  • I just love it that the guy’s name is CHRISTIAN.

    Can’t we switch the subject back to Islamic terrorists, for the comfort of all those Christians here?

  • So, this Nazi guy turns out to be a Bernie Sanders supporter. So let’s just blame ole liberal Bernie for those tragic Portland murders.

    (Hey, why not? Portland’s mayor wants to blame Trump, so let’s blame Bernie too.)

  • With his extensive violent and criminal background he should still be in prison. Long sentences for violent crimes should be the norm.

  • Based on Facebook searching info on the Portland killer, he is more accurately described as a NazBol (National Bolshevist, an ideology combining elements of Naziism and Bolshevism). Media selectievely pays attention to his Nazi and Trump leaning social media posts while ignoring his more Bolshevik and Sanders and Stein posts. He supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries and Jill Stein in the general election, but the media wants to focus exclusively on the right wing elements of his Idelogy to the exclusion of the lots of the left wing elements of his ideology.

    Just look the the Facebook video about the Truth about the Portland Killer.

    Oh wait there’s a YouTube video on it too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z6Q0TvkWUI

    Hope it’s informative.

  • Exactly. Which means this guy is mental — Bipolar most likely.
    Just more White Guilt from Esau’s descendants.

  • I gotta call foul here. No we can’t switch the subject back to Islamic terrorist for my comfort. By calling this piece of shit of a person a Christian you’re giving him the credit and influence he is looking for. So hell %#*?ing no we won’t change the subject. This person and this act does not represent Christianity.

  • No one is to blame but the individual who commits acts of violence. No indirect blame can be attributed to Sanders as his pro-black and pro-Muslim views are well established and he has no record of hate speech or inciting violence against blacks and Muslims – the bad guy’s victims.

    For “some reason” white supremacists and nationalists have come out from under their rocks the last two years with many of them (including the KKK) openly supporting Trump. Why is that?

  • I believe Ben was making a joke because of the scum’s last name. Is he a christian? He reference the term “gods” on Facebook and his statement – “…joining his SS to put an end to Monotheist Question.” and his reference to Vinland has me wondering whether he worships Odin – a trend with white supremacists. It looks like his ideology is all over the place, consistent with an unstable mind.

  • Probably the same reason that the “Burn It Down” (anti-nonviolence, anti-white, anti-police) BLM protesters felt free to openly do their mess under Obama’s reign. It’s the same thing every time, on all sides.

    Meanwhile, in another thread, the RNS writer points out that Portland’s mayor had to leave a public vigil when the attendees started ragging on HIM for their recent tragedy.

    Maybe he thought they were only going to exclusively blame Trump, (which he was okay with). But NOW, he knows better.

  • Ben makes lots of tongue in cheek comments my reply was somewhat tongue in cheek, except the last part. As someone who identifies as a Christian I accept fair criticism from others but this guy represents nothing that I would identify with.
    Back to Ben, I have no problems with Ben this kind of guy is a common foe to most of us. A guy like this should be drawing people together rather than splitting them apart. I believe he did more Banding together than splitting on that train that day. I would hate to see that not continue.

  • You’re quite right. My writing was in this case inept. My apologies.
    My point was as Jim describes below. We obsess in this country about brown muslim terrorists from foreign countries. We have our own white terrorists here, of which this scum is one. There are the bundy’s. There was the Klan. There are a host of others. And we have our own native born terrorists: Omar Mateen was such a one. Dylan Kliebold, Adam whatshisname of Newtown infamy, every white mass-murderer-with-a-gun we’ve had.

    Edit: but how can I forget DYlan Roof, our very best example of a native born, white boy terrorist?

    I don’t blame trump in so many words. He is who and what he is. But he has surrounded himself with people that are antithetical to American, and American Christian values. Bannon is certainly the most prominent, but not the only one.

  • Interesting, a “NazBol” – sort of like Vladimir Putin.
    That’s a fair assessment of his ideology and proves once again that the ideological “line” is really a “circle.”

  • I don’t believe that is fair to Black Lives Matters, which is a nonviolent group.

  • Anybody know what “PDX” on the sign in the illustration stands for? I assume the P is for Portland, the rest? Roman numeral for five hundred and ten?

  • PDX is the nomenclature for the designation of Portland International Airport, like LAX for Los Angeles, but it’s come into common usage as an abbreviation for things associated with the city.

  • Truer words never spoken. I speak as a lifelong Portlander. By and large it seems we’re all largely in agreement here at least as regards the malefactor in this case.

  • Did you just say Black Lives Matter is “non-violent”?

    Might as well assert that Hannibal Lecter is a Vegan.

  • Since we’re talking about domestic terrorism– or I was, anyway– here is the latest from scamvangelist Jim Bakkker….

    While criticizing calls to impeach Trump, Bakkker said that such a move would lead to war: “If it happens, there will be a civil war in the United States of America. The Christians will finally come out of the shadows because we are going to be shut up permanently if we’re not careful.”

    So, bakkker is calling for the murder of his fellow amaericans if his hero, Grabby McP, is impeached through due process of law.

    So, which Christians is he talking about? somehow, I don’t think he’s talking about episcopalians, UCC, or Pcusa. And Americans killing other Americans? Sounds like a terrorist’s wet dream, it does.

    Of course, itsfairly hilarious, both as a threat and as an empty threat. I suspect the bulk of his “followers” are either so obese or so old they can’t get off the couch, let alone into a fighting stance.

    But that’s not really my point.

  • Few, I think will bother to listen to the “insights” of Jim Bakker, I’d (almost) be surprised if he had any following at all, but doubtless he does or you would not have cited him. I’m still waiting to discover if Mr. Trump has been involved in anything worthy of impeachment, though I don’t discount it out of hand. I’m impatiently waiting for the investigations to be completed. His impeachment would hardly give cause to any genuine Christian (as I understand the term) to prepare for a civil war, Mr. Bakker notwithstanding. Though I disagree with much of MLK’s perspective on certain theological questions (I would have loved to quiz him on specific issues), his theme of non-violent resistance to injustice resonates largely with me because I believe that was Jesus’ stance as well. It was not until the church was a few hundred years removed from the death and Resurrection of Christ, in the time of Constantine, and the rise of the Roman Church to western supremacy, that this notion of the church militant in the earthly military sense became accepted. I will not judge those who act in self defense, but those who would adopt a preemptive aggressive militancy in the cause of their Christian faith do so at great spiritual risk.

  • I agree with you start to end, Edward.

    Bakkker is to my mind a long term grifter. But he does have followers, and is still able to praise and raise. I suspect he’s just doing what he has always done, and is not really much of a threat.

    I am not claiming that Bakkker is representative of Christianity, or even conservative Christianity. Nevertheless, he represents some group of people, and not a small one. The mindset is out there. And it is amindset current among people who call themselves Christians and who may well praise the lord while passing the ammunition

  • Most televangelists are grifters to my way of thinking, especially the ones who perform fake miracles in front of the camera.

  • Yes…I agree with you that this subset of so called Christians exist, but their minds are as incomprehensible to me as the miscreant who stabbed the 3 gentleman here locally.

  • I think it is easy to comprehend in general, but not a swamp you want to get anywhere near in particular. Fear, anger, and a completely unwarranted and imaginary superiority are fairly obvious,

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