The alleged white supremacist and suspect in the Portland stabbing ranted in court about freedom and America’s enemies.
While he was arraigned on Tuesday, Jeremy Joseph Christian yelled, "Free speech or die, Portland!'' as he entered the Multnomah County courtroom. The 35-year-old also said, "Death to the enemies of America!" and "You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism.''
Christian was arrested and charged for killing two men who stood up for two women on a Portland MAX train. According to the probable cause affidavit, Christian verbally assaulted a Muslim woman and her Black friend last Friday. Eventually, 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche tried to defend the women, but were stabbed and killed in the process, reported the Oregonian.
Christian received a total of nine charges — two counts of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, first-degree assault, two counts of intimidation and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
During the altercation, Christian also stabbed 21-year-old Micah Fletcher — who survived the attack on the MAX train.
Fletcher, a poet and student, released a statement assuring the Muslim community of Portland they are supported.
"I want the Muslim community to know that they have a home here in Portland and are loved," Fletcher said in his statement, report by ABC News. "I want to honor the families who lost their brave fathers, sons and brothers, and I want the media and the country to honor those families. I want to send my condolences and honor those families."
(Photo: REUTERS/Beth Nakamura/Pool)