Jeremy Joseph Christian
|“||Get out if you don't like free speech! Death to the enemies of America....You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism.||„|
|~ Jeremy Joseph Chrisitan|
Jeremy Joseph Christian is an American man responsible for the stabbing murder of two men, Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and seriously injured another man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, on a train in Portland, Oregon on May 26, 2017. The stabbings took place after the three men stood up to Christian after he verbally harassed a pair of Muslim teenage girls. The incident is considered a hate crime.
Following the attack, Christian, who described himself as a white nationalist, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and other crimes. After being indicted by a grand jury, Christian pleaded not guilty to the charges and was denied bail in November 2017. His trial was scheduled for June 24, 2019. The attack was widely condemned by the Portland community, politicians, and civil rights groups, some of which said it represented a rise in hate speech, racism, and Islamophobic incidents in the United States.
Christian already had a lenghty criminal record before the stabbings took place. He had been convicted previously of kidnapping and the robbery of a convenience store in May 2002, and sentenced to 90 months in prison for that offense. During the robbery, he wore a ski mask, wielded a .38-caliber revolver, and handcuffed the store owner to a pole in the store; he was apprehended several blocks away from the store. Christian was also arrested in 2010 on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and theft, but those charges were later dropped.
He held extremist views, posting neo-Nazi Party, antisemitic, and far-right material on social media, as well as material indicating an affinity for political violence. Christian described himself as a white nationalist. The Oregonian noted that Christian made many contradictory Facebook posts, but that such contradictions are typical of extremists. It said his posts "reveal a comic book collector with nebulous political affiliations who above all else seemed to hate circumcision and Hillary Clinton". At times he expressed support for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, although he wrote he did not vote. He was also an anti-circumcision extremist. According to friends and acquaintances Christian's actions were becoming increasingly unstable, and he was in need of mental help, but he had not been given a formal diagnosis.
In April 2017, Christian wrote, "I just Challenged Ben Ferencz (Last Living Nuremberg Persecutor) to a Debate in the Hague with Putin as our judge. I will defend the Nazis and he will defend the AshkeNAZIs [a reference to European Jews]." He praised Timothy McVeigh in an online posting on April 19, the anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He also "posted conspiracy theory memes from the right-wing Alex Jones Channel".
According to The Portland Mercury, Christian was a "known right-wing extremist and white supremacist". He had participated in various Alt-Right rallies in Portland. One month before the stabbing, Christian appeared at the right-wing March for Free Speech in Portland's Montavilla Park. He wore a Revolutionary War-era flag of the United States, and carried a baseball bat, which police confiscated. He gave Nazi salutes, and used a racial slur at least once. At the event, Christian was videotaped shouting "Die, Muslims!"
The day before the killings Christian had made racial threats on another train, threatened a conductor, and hurled a bottle at a black woman who then maced him, as seen on cell phone videos. Christian told police that he had dropped out of high school, but later earned his high school equivalency and took classes at Portland Community College for a year. He identified himself to police as a transient who did "not know the last time he had a permanent address" and lived with friends and family.
On June 24, 2020, Christian was sentenced to two consecutive life terms—one for each count of first-degree murder—with no possibility of parole. Christian was given an additional 51.5 years for related charges.