Society

Portland Suspect: 'You Call It Terrorism, I Call It Patriotism' (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Jeremy Christian, who is accused of killing two people and injuring a third on a Portland train on May 26, went on a verbal tirade during his arraignment on May 30 in the Multnomah County court in Oregon (video below).

Christian, who is charged with nine felony and misdemeanor crimes, entered the courtroom shouting, "Free speech or die, Portland. You’ve got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you don’t like free speech," notes the Portland Mercury.

After a judge briefly went over his case, Christian shouted, "Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. Death to antifa [anti-fascists]. You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die."

There were reportedly shouts from the hallway outside in response to Christian's appearance, and at another man donned in multicolored hair who had gone to the court to support Christian.

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The man asserted that he was a friend of Christian's, but would not answer any questions from the Portland Mercury.

People in the hallway reportedly yelled at Christian: "You're a murderer!" until sheriff's deputies pushed them back.

Christian is accused of fatally stabbing Taliesin Meche and Ricky Best, and injuring Micah Fletcher after going on an anti-Muslim rant on a Portland train on May 26, reports the New York Daily News.

Meche, Best and Fletcher interrupted Christian’s rant, which resulted in the deaths of Meche and Best and the stabbing of Fletcher in his neck, notes Mediaite.com.

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According to court papers, Christian shouted on the train: "[G]o home, we need American here," and, "Free speech or die," while sipping wine, reports the New York Daily News.

He allegedly confessed to the murders inside a police car: "I can die in prison a happy man."

Christian did not enter a plea on May 30, but was assigned a public defender to handle his case.

Christian reportedly got into a scuffle with some counter-protesters in April during a right-wing protest.

A similar event, a "Trump Free Speech Rally," is planned for June 4. Portland's mayor has called on organizers to cancel the rally.

President Donald Trump was criticized for not immediately condemning the killings, which was eventually tweeted about on the President of the United States Twitter account on May 30: "The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them."

Sources: Portland Mercury, New York Daily News, Mediaite.com / Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr

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