January 27, 2017
The January 5th meeting was well attended. Participation from community groups as well as Portland Police, the FBI and the DOJ really got the ball rolling. Our next Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting is:
Thursday, February 2nd at 2 pm
From the Mail Tribune, January 26, 2017
Ashland police arrested a 28-year-old Medford man Tuesday for allegedly posting pro-Nazi flyers around Ashland late Sunday or early Monday morning.
Justin Anthony Marbury was arrested on five counts of criminal mischief, according to a news release from Ashland police. Marbury was not listed in the Jackson County Jail Wednesday, and no information on further proceedings had been updated in court records.
Ashland police received several complaints of pro-Nazi flyers being left around downtown Ashland and released a photograph Monday of a man wearing a mask over the lower part of his face.
The flyers promoted white supremacy and the Nazi party. One flyer said, “We will secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” along with “Cascadian Nationalist Resistance” and a Twitter handle. Another flyer read, “A storm is coming,” accompanied by two swastikas and a silhouette of a person wearing a helmet worn by Nazis in WWII.
Police said Marbury’s arrest did not stem from the content of the signs, but for defacing property.
“However, the police department also recognizes that the particularly incendiary nature of the flyers made this situation more alarming and concerning to the department and to members of the community than a more innocuous flyer would have,” the press release said.
December 20, 2016
We had to cancel the CAHC meeting this month because of the snow. The new meeting time is:
Thursday, January 5th at 2 pm
We hope to see you there. Happy holidays!
December 14, 2016
Thanks to the snow, PCC will be closed Thursday, 12/15, so we will have to reschedule our Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience. We will try to get a new meeting date out you as soon as possible.
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.
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
November 19, 2016
The media has been full of dramatic stories of hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump. There have also been numerous hate incidents reported, including in Oregon schools. What we do know is the number of hate crimes nationwide increased last year by 7 percent (and anti-Muslim crimes increased by 67%), according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
What we don’t know for 100% certain is that these crimes are a result of the rhetoric, campaign, or election of Donald Trump. There may be other factors leading to the increase or more people just might be reporting hate crimes to authorities.
BUT we do know, at least anecdotally, that many of these crimes and incidents have been committed by Trump supporters or people using Trump-related slogans, like “Build a wall” and “Make America great again.” This includes a racial assault of a woman in Hillsboro by men naming Trump and racist graffiti at Reed College referencing Trump. (below)
On Friday, I appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud to discuss the current climate and how to best respond to these tensions that are likely to follow us past Inauguration Day. I want to make two important points.
First and foremost, people need to feel safe in their communities. A wave of fear has struck numerous minority communities this fall. This includes immigrants, Muslims, women, Latinx residents, and sexual minority groups. It important for us to defend our fellow citizens from harassment and attack, even if we are not members of those groups. The CAHC has long taken a “Not in our town” approach to hate crimes, where we stand, visibly and vocally, with those who are the targets of hate and against the agents of hate. Now is the time to be mindful of our neighbors who may feel fearful and vulnerable in this current divided climate.
Secondly, those who are the agents of hatred, including racism, sexism, Islamophobia and other bigotries, are often victims of ignorance and misinformation. This is something that can be solved with outreach, education, and calm conversation. America is at a crossroads. Will it become Trump supporters versus the rest of the country or will we use this crisis as a moment to come together? Hating the hater does not bring us forward, but helping the hater might.
As Oregon moves forward into the “Trump years,” the role of the Coalition Against Hate Crimes may be more important than ever. The CAHC has been active since 1997 but for the last two years we have existed primarily as a Facebook page and an email contact list. I would like to see the CAHC become again a more public presence in our state and work to make sure all the members of our many communities feel safe and heard. I encourage your suggestions for next steps.
Dr. Randy Blazak, CAHC chair
GRESHAM, Ore. — A couple already charged with crimes stemming from running down a man in Gresham have now been charged with a hate crime for the deadly incident.
Larnell Malik Bruce, 19, of Vancouver, was run over on Aug. 10 after a fight in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven at Burnside and 188th Avenue. He died several days later.
Russell Courtier, 38, the alleged driver of the red Jeep, and his passenger, Colleen Hunt, 35, were caught by police shortly after Bruce was run down.
Both had been charged with murder and failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons. They pleaded not guilty and were being held without bail. Their trial is scheduled for Oct. 3.
A re-indictment document released Tuesday adds first-degree intimidation charges for both. It reads, in part, that Courtier and Hunt “did unlawfully, acting together and because of their perception of the race and color of Larnell Bruce intentionally cause physical injury to Larnell Bruce.”
In addition, Courtier was charged with second-degree intimidation for “unlawfully, intentionally and because of (Courtier’s) perception of race and color of Larnell Bruce, subject Darnell Bruce to offensive physical contact.”
A photo on Courtier’s Facebook page shows a leg tattoo with the letters E and K within a shield.
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.
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