Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

CAHC meeting set for December 15th — November 28, 2016

CAHC meeting set for December 15th

November 28, 2016

The Coalition Against Hate Crime is having a face-to-face meeting to discuss recent hate related incidents in Oregon. We expect meeting participation from community partners, and local and federal law enforcement agencies. The meeting is open to the public.

Thursday, December 15th
2 p.m.
PCC Cascade Campus
Student Union Building, Room 204
The agenda will address two primary concerns:
1. How can communities be made to made to feel safe in the wake of election-related hate crimes and incidents?
2. What kind of education can be done to reduce hate and bias in our community in the coming year?
Additional agenda suggestions can be sent to me at: blazakr@gmail.com
This is a time of both vigilance and calm. Last week I appeared on an Al Jazeera program about the wave of fear around this issue.

Scared state: Fearing a Trump presidency

The Department of Justice is also taking this issue very seriously.  The link below features U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch discussing the increase in reported hate crimes in 2015 and emphasizing U.S. Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to enforcing the laws and keeping our community safe.

The Department of Justice has also released a statement titled,  PORTLAND METRO LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS UNITED AGAINST ALL FORMS OF HATE CRIME. (click link)

We look forward to building strong responses to hate through our historic coalition.

Randy Blazak, CAHC chair


The Portland Man Accused of Murdering A Black Teenager Is Connected to A White Supremacist Gang — August 23, 2016

The Portland Man Accused of Murdering A Black Teenager Is Connected to A White Supremacist Gang

Aug. 22, 2016

The white 38-year-old Portland man accused of murdering a 19-year-old African American man fleeing from him in Gresham earlier this month has tattoos indicating he’s in “European Kindred,” a white supremacist gang based in Oregon. The Mercury has also found several references he and his associates have made online backing up his connection to the group.

Convicted felon Russell Courtier and his girlfriend, 35-year-old Colleen Hunt, are accused of mowing down Larnell Bruce with their Jeep after Courtier and Bruce got in a fight on August 10 outside of a Gresham 7-Eleven store. Courtier and Hunt were officially indicted for murder on Friday and were arraigned this morning. According to a probable cause affidavit for Courtier and Hunt’s arrest, Courtier admitted to a detective he intentionally chased down and hit Bruce with his car.

Courtier was out of prison on parole for a gun conviction when he killed Bruce, according to court records.




Courtier has the European Kindred logo tattooed on his leg, according to pictures he’s posted on Facebook. In a reply to a sarcastic comment someone left on this photo, Courtier said “I’ll cum in your face with white pride nigero.”





In a separate photo he uploaded of other tattoos, he wrote “511” in the comments, a code for the group where the 5 represents the E, the fifth letter the alphabet, and 11 represents K, the 11th letter. An associate of his also commented on Courtier’s picture, mentioning “us kindreds.”

European Kindreds are a white supremacist prison gang based out of Oregon. The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a long report on them in 2010:

Kennedy first organized the gang within the medium-security Snake River Correctional Institution, the largest prison in Oregon, where he was serving time for burglary. In less than two years, EK had spread to all four other medium-security prisons in the state. In 2001, as members were paroled, it began to establish a street gang presence in Portland. Over the next few years, EK became notorious as members committed hate crimes, murders, rapes and home-invasion robberies, along with manning identity-theft, methamphetamine-distribution and dog-fighting rings.EK now has at least 300 confirmed members in the Oregon prison system plus another 100-125 members on the streets of Portland, as well as in other cities and towns in the region. While the Portland-area street division of the gang — by far its largest outside of prison — is somewhat in disarray after a series of recent arrests of leaders and high-ranking members, the gang overall is expanding beyond the state where it was born. Last year, EK chapters appeared within prisons in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico, and a street crew sprang up and began recruiting skinheads in Orange County, Calif.

Courtier has a lengthy criminal history and has spent time in prison for assaults and illegal weapons charges. He’s was previously convicted of four felonies and three misdemeanors—with seven parole violations—dating back to the late 1990s, according to court records. He was on parole for a felony weapons conviction—scheduled through March 2017—the night he killed Bruce.


Larnell Bruce

Larnell Bruce GRESHAM PD

Just before midnight on Wednesday, August 10, Courtier and Hunt drove their red Jeep to a 7-Eleven store in Gresham. Outside the store, he and Bruce apparently exchanged words, and got into a fight. During the altercation, Bruce pulled out a “machete,” authorities said, and tried to walk away. Courtier and Hunt then hopped in their Jeep while Hunt yelled “get him baby, get him baby.” They chased after Bruce and intentionally hit him.

Here’s what what Courtier told Gresham Detective Aaron Turnage, according to the probable cause affidavit (emphasis ours):

Mr. Courtier stated he arrived at the 7-11 to make a purchase, and was contacted by and exchanged words with an unknown black male. Mr. Courtier admitted he and the black male adult got into a physical altercation, and the black male adult produced a machete. Mr. Courtier said he then stopped fighting and got into his vehicle. Mr. Courtier stated the black male walked away eastbound through the parking lot. Mr. Courtier says he was angry the male produced a knife and thought about driving away from the scene, however made a conscious decision to drive his vehicle towards and chase the black male. Mr. Courtier said the black male began to run away from his vehicle as he chased him. Mr. Courtier stated the black male ran to the east into a neighboring parking lot and Mr. Courtier said he chased him into the parking lot. Mr. Courtier admitted the black male turned directions and ran back towards the west and that he believed the black male was trying to get away from him. Mr. Courtier said he chased the black male across oncoming lanes of traffic and then intentionally struck him with the front of his vehicle. Mr. Courtier said that when he contacted the black male with his vehicle he knew he had hit him because he heard the impact and saw the male fall to the ground.”

The Mercury has asked the Gresham Police Department about the alleged machete/knife. We’ll update this post when more information comes in.

Larnell Bruce was motionless on the street with blood flowing out of his head and ears when police arrived. He was taken to OHSU and died three days later.

SOURCE: The Portland Mercury Article by Doug Brown

Crime Alert: Nazi skinhead killer at large — July 16, 2016

Crime Alert: Nazi skinhead killer at large

A man is suspected of shooting four people, killing three of them, Friday night in Clark County.

Authorities identified the shooting suspect as Brent W. Luyster, 35, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Luyster was arrested this past May on accusations of of pistol-whipping his ex-girlfriend in Longview, and a May report from The Daily News says he “has a long criminal record sheet that includes several allegedly racially motivated attacks on black men.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 8.28.08 AM

Sgt. Tony Barnes of the sheriff’s office didn’t immediately know early Saturday morning how authorities identified Luyster as the suspect. Barnes said authorities were still at the scene of the shooting — a home in the 4000 block of Northwest 417th Street near Woodland.

Barnes said Luyster knew all the victims somehow. Barnes said one of the victims, a woman, drove herself from the shooting scene to an ampm convenience store. She was suffering from a gunshot wound to the face, deputies said.

The store, 1039 Lewis River Rd., is more than 2 miles away from the shooting scene.

Deputies responded to the store at 10:20 p.m. and found the woman who was suffering from a gunshot wound. Barnes said the woman went right into surgery. Deputies and members of the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT Team later responded to the home, where they found three people dead.

Luyster hasn’t been apprehended, and authorities think he’s armed and dangerous.

Deputies said he could be driving a gold Ford Explorer with a cargo rack and plates reading ATD5294. He could also be driving a white Explorer with Washington plates reading AYH9994.

Deputies said Luyster is 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds with a shaved head. He’s covered in tattoos, including multiple swastikas and ink that appears to read “skinhead.”

Barnes said the last place authorities know Luyster was living is in Longview. He has ties throughout Clark County, Barnes said.

Authorities haven’t identified the victims, Barnes said.

Deputies ask anyone who has information to call 911.

Source: Jim Ryan, the Oregonian
503-221-8005; @Jimryan015

Deputies arrest Creswell man on hate crime charge — July 13, 2016

Deputies arrest Creswell man on hate crime charge

CRESWELL, Ore. – Deputies say a man reported he was threatened at his home near Creswell for being African American. Authorities arrested a man who lives near the victim.

According to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Rodney Blomberg, 45, was one of four men who drove to the victim’s home on Jackson Marlow Road near Creswell.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 8.49.43 AM

The incident occurred about two weeks ago around 10 p.m.

According to court documents, three other men were with Blomberg, driving two vehicles with the confederate flag attached.

Officials say Blomberg and the victim are acquaintances.

“We had deputies respond. The suspect, 45-year-old Rodney Blomberg, reportedly made some racial slurs towards the neighbor, some intimidating comments,” said Carrie Carver from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.

In the affidavit, the victim stated that he “does not feel safe living in the area because of this.”

The victim identified himself as half black with brown skin and black curly hair.

Law enforcement arrested Blomberg a couple days after the incident for second degree intimidation. His next court appearance is scheduled on August 15.

Source: KMTR Eugene

Will LGBTQ “Safe Places” come to Portland? — June 24, 2016

Will LGBTQ “Safe Places” come to Portland?

SEATTLE — A program in Seattle designed to help protect the LGBTQ community is getting interest from other major cities across the country.

Safe Place was launched in May 2015 and allows businesses and schools to post signs in their windows, indicating they are a “safe place” for victims of anti-LGBTQ crimes and harassment to seek help.

Officer Jim Ritter, the Seattle Police Department’s LGBTQ liaison officer and head of Safe Place, is in San Francisco this week to teach that city more about the program.

His visit came as a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring dozens of others.

“After hearing the news of these shootings in Orlando, I had to remind myself that the person who committed these murders did more than just take lives of innocent victims,” Officer Ritter said. “He kind of single-handedly brought to life the fact that these hate crimes against the LGBT community that they face daily are very real and a problem that needs to be addressed.”’

Ritter, who is gay, said the shooting has sparked a worldwide conversation about LGBTQ rights and the challenges the community still faces. He hopes the tragedy will be a reminder to anyone who is the victim of a hate crime that they should not be afraid to report it.

Since the Safe Place program launched in Seattle, around 1,600 businesses and schools have signed on, Ritter said. In addition to San Francisco, he said cities like Tucson, Ariz., and Philadelphia have also expressed interest in launching similar initiatives.

Source: Seattle’s ‘Safe Place’ program getting interest from other major cities

Vancouver church known for inclusiveness suffers from suspicious fire — May 25, 2016

Vancouver church known for inclusiveness suffers from suspicious fire

From KGW.com

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A fire damaged the roof and interior of a church in the Hazel Dell neighborhood Wednesday morning.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on scene helping the fire marshal figure out what happened, and whether the fire could be arson.

Firefighters were called at about 3 a.m. to the report of flames coming from the First Congressional United Church of Christ, at 1220 NE 68th St.

Photos: Fire damages Hazel Dell church

Crews said they believe the fire had started on the outside of the building and spread inside the church. They say it was a fast-moving fire and the glow of it could be seen from Interstate 5. Crews were afraid the roof would collapse.

“We were inside at one point and time, and feared this building would come down on top of us,” said David Schmitke, with Clark County Fire District 6. “We were very defensive at first, trying to keep it from collapsing.”

No one was hurt.

Jennifer Olson lives nearby the church. She says she woke up around 3 a.m., felt something wasn’t right, and looked out her window. That’s when she saw a huge ball of flames coming from the church.

“The flames were coming out good. They were coming out big time. It’s just kind of weird. You just don’t expect it to happen in your area. Especially the church,” said neighbor Rod McSwan.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within a few hours, but are still watching for hot spots, and are working to save the steeple and cross.

Church members said they are devastated. Church Pastor Jennifer Brownell said the building means a lot to her and to the congregation. It’s a safe place and the church welcomes everyone, she says.

“We’ve always been at the forefront in a lot of ways. Welcoming of gay and lesbian people, and really involved in children’s issues and racial issues this building. This spot has always been a real rallying point for people,” she said.

It was built to look like a dove, and a lot of people think it looks like Noah’s Ark. She says both are fitting symbols as they look to rebuild.

“We like both the dove and Noah’s Ark image. They both are beautiful for us. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the work of God and the Ark is a symbol of safety and sanctuary,” she said. “Both of those are important to us and we’ll keep those images in mind as we move ahead.”

She says they will worship Sunday, although it might not be inside the damaged sanctuary. She says they might have an impromptu worship service Wednesday, too.

No damage estimates were available.

Note: Martha’s Pantry, the food pantry at the church, will be closed due to smoke damage Thursday and Friday. People seeking food support should contact Clark County Food Bank.

Buddhist monk attacked in possible hate crime in Hood River — March 10, 2016

Buddhist monk attacked in possible hate crime in Hood River

From KGW.com

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — A Buddhist monk was attacked in Hood River, in what police believe was a possible hate crime.

Kozen Sampson2_1457557322436_923421_ver1.0

Kozen Sampson said he was dressed in his traditional brown robe when the attacker approached him.  He said the stranger suddenly yelled and kicked his car door into him, hitting him in the head. The man then referred to Sampson as a Muslim and walked away.

Sampson described the suspect as a white man with brown hair. Police are investigating, but do not have any suspects at this time.

The attack occurred near the intersection of 12th Street and Eugene Avenue in Hood River on Feb. 29.  Investigators said Sampson, from Trout Lake, Wash., was visiting the area to do obedience training with his dogs.

Sampson suffered injuries to his face, but was recovering from the attack.

Police are hoping the public may have information that can help them on this case.  Anyone with tips is encouraged to call Detective Rivera, with the Hood River Police Department, at (541)387-5257.


Saturday! Jan. 16 to Rally at City Hall #Stand for Love #Interrupt Hate — January 13, 2016

Saturday! Jan. 16 to Rally at City Hall #Stand for Love #Interrupt Hate

From the Center for Intercultural Organizing:


WHAT:  Rally to #Stand for Love #Interrupt Hate 

DATE:  Saturday, January 16th 

TIME:  1 pm 

PLACE: Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave #110, Portland, OR 97204

We are parents, grandparents, neighbors, caregivers and friends and we reject the hateful rhetoric targeting Muslims, black people, immigrants, refugees, women, Latinos, Arabs, Jews, LGBTQ communities (and on and on)! Those messages of hate do not represent us or the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who call this state home. We want to show every community in this City that we will stand up for love and interrupt the hate.

Join us, your neighbors and friends, as we gather together at Portland City Hall on Saturday, January 16th at 1 pm, to show up for the communities being targeted and to send out a new message that hate doesn’t belong here—only love and respect does.

We will be hosting a rally with speakers from the communities who have been targeted and those who stand in solidarity with them – along with other local civil rights leaders. This event will be followed by a peaceful public demonstration that will show the whole city that we stand together for love, inclusion and respect.

Invite your families, neighbors, and friends to come out too!

Let’s take care of our Muslim neighbors — December 8, 2015

Let’s take care of our Muslim neighbors


In this time of elevated Islamophobia, I ask the members of the CAHC and the larger community to be extra supportive of our Muslim friends, neighbors and work colleagues. We know that hate crimes are correlated with bigoted rhetoric in the mainstream.

Severed pig’s head thrown at Philadelphia mosque door

Others, including Sikhs, Arabic Christians, and Persians may also become targets of this new wave of hate. Let’s be clear that we do not stand with the perpetrators of such actions and hateful speech. We also know that victimized communities have elevated levels of fear, anxiety and social withdrawal. This is the time to check in on the members of the community and make sure they are OK and let them know we are united against this un-American xenophobia.

If you are a victim of an attack or harassment, please contact law enforcement. More information at: https://oregoncahc.org/report-a-hate-crimeincident/

Let’s take care of each other.

CAHC response to Lewis & Clark bias crime report. — November 23, 2015

CAHC response to Lewis & Clark bias crime report.

On Saturday, November 21, 2015, there was a report of a racially motivated assault on a Lewis & Clark student. The Coalition Against Hate Crime wants to form an appropriate response but it is important to point out that this is currently an ongoing investigation.

The Portland Police Bureau has issued a statement and is asking members with any information about this  incident is asked to contact Detective Todd Prosser at 503-823-9320, todd.prosser@portlandoregon.gov.

Portland Police Statement

It is the position of the CAHC to aid hate crime victims and their community in a healing response to the corrosive impact of hate crimes and incidents so there will be further communications about this case in the future.