President Donald Trump has condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Oregon, light rail train. “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable,” Trump said on Twitter yesterday. “The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”
Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, were killed as they tried to stop Jeremy Joseph Christian from harassing the women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, authorities say. Another man who stepped in was seriously injured. Christian’s social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. He was charged with aggravated murder, intimidation — the state equivalent of a hate crime — and being a felon in possession of a weapon and was scheduled to be in court today.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said yesterday that he hopes the men’s actions inspire “changes in the political dialogue in this country.” He asked the federal government and organisers to cancel a “Trump Free Speech Rally” and other similar events set to be held in the city next weekend, saying the community is sad and angry and the rallies are inappropriate and could be dangerous.