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Portland Train Attack

Fanny Zhang, News Editor

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In our everyday lives, most of us have witnessed verbal and sometimes physical attacks on an individual or group’s looks and beliefs. These attacks can be seen from school halls to the streets of our community. However, on May 26, 2017, assaults that were witnessed on a commuter train in Portland, Ore, didn’t go unfought. Jeremy Joseph Christian, a 35 year old man, began to throw racial insults towards two Muslim teenagers. A 16 year old African American Muslim and her 17 year old friend that was wearing a hijab were attacked with anti-muslim comments. The 16 year old girl named Destinee Mangum had recalled him using explicit words and telling her to go back to Saudi Arabia and accusing her of having inflictions with terrorist group, ISIS.

During this situation three brave and courageous men quickly began to interfere with Christian and his inappropriate comments toward the teenagers. One individual was Taliesin Namkai-Meche, who was a 23 year old Reed College graduate. Another was 53 year old Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, whose name was Rick Best. The third brave individual was 23 year old student at Portland State University, who goes by the name of Micah Fletcher.

After interfering, Jeremy Joseph Christian pulled out a knife and began slashing and attacking the three men. All three of the individuals sustained serious injuries. The 53 year old army veteran Rick Best, died at the scene. Taliesin Namkai-Meche, who was the Reed College graduate, suffered life-threatening injuries. A citizen on the train quickly came to his help and addressed the wound and covered it with her shirt. As he was conscious while waiting for the ambulance, he was unable to pull through in the end. Soon after arriving at the hospital, Taliesin Namkai-Meche had died. The Portland State University student, Micah Fletcher was fortunately survived the incident, despite the two hour surgery performed on his throat.

Police were able to arrest 35 year old white supremacist, Jeremy Joseph Christian who was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, first and second degree of assault, as well as three counts of second degree intimidation, two counts of menacing and five counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He faces the possibility of a death penalty.

Overall, the heroic efforts of Taliesin Namkai-Meche, Rick Best, and Micah Fletcher will always be remembered. On that day, American leaders stood up to the intolerance of our society, and while two courageous lives were taken in the process, their fearless actions will be forever commemorated.

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Portland Train Attack