Lots of Shouting at Portland Train Suspect's First Court Appearance

Outbursts both inside, outside the courtroom
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 30, 2017 6:52 PM CDT
Lots of Shouting at Portland Train Suspect's First Court Appearance
A message at a rain-soaked memorial to two men who were fatally stabbed while trying to stop another man from shouting anti-Muslim insults at two young women on a Portland, Oregon, light-rail train, urges residents not to forget Mulugeta Seraw, a young Ethiopian man who was beaten to death by white...   (Gillian Flaccus)

The man police say fatally stabbed two men who tried to shield young women from an anti-Muslim tirade shouted "you call it terrorism I call it patriotism!" during his first court appearance, the AP reports. Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was in Multnomah County courtroom Tuesday afternoon facing two counts of felony aggravated murder and other charges for the Friday incident on a Portland, Oregon, light-rail train. He made repeated outbursts in court including "you've got no safe place!" and "death to the enemies of America!" Later, commotion erupted outside the courtroom. As Christian concluded his brief appearance, yelling and screaming could be heard from the hallway as supporters of the victims confronted a supporter of the defendant.

Deputies escorted the man from the scene, prompting the group to lash out at law enforcement for protecting him. Those involved in the confrontation could not get into the courtroom because all the seats were taken. Courtroom security barred spectators from leaving the arraignment until the disruption simmered down. Authorities say Christian started verbally abusing two young women, including one wearing a hijab. Three men on the train intervened before police say Christian attacked them, killing two and wounding one. Christian has been appointed public defenders. Lane Borg, the head of the local public defender agency, said the office was "saddened by this tragedy" but urged people to let the justice system take its course. (More Portland stories.)

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