Jeremy Christian, the man accused of a deadly stabbing spree on a Portland, Oregon, commuter train. The 35-year-old was arraigned Tuesday on aggravated murder and other charges. He is accused of going on a hate-filled tirade against two teenagers. He then allegedly stabbed three men who intervened to protect the teens, killing two.
"You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die!" a defiant and angry Christian said in court, adding: "Free speech or die Portland, you got no safe place."
Tuesday's affidavit says that after his arrest, Christian told police: "I just stabbed a bunch of [expletive] in their neck... I hope they all die." He called himself a "patriot" and said, "That's what liberalism gets you."
Late last month, Christian had attended a Portland-area right-wing "March for Free Speech" carrying a bat and spouting hate speech. That "free speech" rally and others like it were organized by Joey Gibson, who denounced Christian's actions, which he said others are using against him.
"That's the frustrating part, is, they're trying to use it to control me, to make me stand down, and I won't do it," Gibson said.
Gibson has planned a pro-Trump rally for this Sunday, and the city is gearing up for counter-protesters. After initially seeking to revoke the rally's permit, Portland's mayor says he is now looking for the best way to protect free speech and personal safety.
"Can you assure people that your group won't incite that violence?" Villarreal asked him.
"I cannot ensure that some crazy person is going to show up and make a horrible decision. I can't control everybody," Gibson responded, adding, "I don't want them at the rally and they'll be kicked out."
Police reports say Christian is seen on surveillance video yelling racial and anti-Muslim slurs on the commuter train ahead of the attack where he killed two people. Micah Fletcher, the surviving victim, sat in the front spectator row during the arraignment. According to court documents, he was told by doctors that his neck injury was just millimeters away from being fatal.
"Death to the enemies of America!" Christian said in the courtroom.
Christian remains behind bars in the jail next to the courthouse. Christian did not enter a plea, but he's expected back in court next week.
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