PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man who was stabbed in the neck while trying to stop a man from shouting anti-Muslim insults at two young women on a Portland, Oregon, light-rail train said Wednesday that the city should focus on the girls, not him.
An emotional Micah Fletcher said in a six-minute video on his Facebook page that Portland has a “white savior complex” and residents are heaping praise on him, but the real victims are the women. He says they must be traumatized from being targets of hate and from the deaths of two other men who also tried to intervene Friday.
“These people need to be reminded that this is about them, that they are the real victims here,” he said.
Jeremy Joseph Christian is accused of stabbing to death Ricky Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23. Prosecutors say he attacked them after they confronted him for harassing two young black women, one of whom wore a Muslim head covering.
Fletcher, a 21-year-old student at Portland State University and a poet, also stood up to Christian. His wound was within millimeters of being fatal, court documents say. He has been released from the hospital and attended Christian’s first court hearing, where a scar on his neck was visible.
Christian, 35, did not enter a plea Tuesday. His court-appointed attorney, Gregory Scholls, has not returned a call.
Fletcher’s post included a link to a fundraising page for the girls.
“Suffice it to say, that I think it’s immensely, immensely and morally wrong how much money we have gotten as opposed to the money, love, kindness that has been given to that little girl,” he said, speaking of the money raised for him and the slain victims’ families.
Court documents describe a chaotic scene on the train from the moment Christian boarded.
He was drinking sangria from a large, bladder-style bag and began shouting anti-Muslim slurs once he spotted the two young women, according to a probable cause affidavit signed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Lufkin.
One passenger tried to intervene and was not hurt. The women moved away from Christian.
Surveillance video then shows Christian turn his attention to Namkai-Meche, who was seated. It wasn’t clear if he said something to draw Christian’s attention, but he stood up as Christian began shouting at him.
Fletcher then stood up and pushed Christian hard enough to make him stumble, the affidavit said.
Christian pulled a folded knife from his pocket and concealed it in his hand, prosecutors say. As a shoving match ensued, Christian first stabbed Fletcher, then Namkai-Meche, the documents say. Best then tried to come to their aid and was stabbed.
Also Wednesday, an organizer canceled an anti-Shariah law rally that had been planned for June 10 in downtown Portland. In a Facebook post, Scott Ryan Presler blamed “inflammatory comments” by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler that he said put participants at risk of violence. He said they will march in Seattle instead.
Wheeler had called on the U.S. government to revoke a permit for an event Sunday billed as a pro-President Donald Trump free-speech rally and not to issue a permit for the rally against Islamic law. Both were planned on federal property.
The government said Wednesday that it would not revoke this weekend’s permit.