Portland attack: Trump urged to speak up over killings

Portland attack: Trump urged to speak up over killings
Source: BBC
Date: 29-05-2017 Time: 01:05:57:pm

US President Donald Trump is under pressure to address the killing of two men who had tried to stop a man abusing a Muslim teenager and her friend.

Mr Trump has not yet responded to the deaths of Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best in Portland on Friday.

A reporter's tweet to Mr Trump for comment has been liked 14,000 times and another reporter's open letter has been shared 100,000 times on Facebook.

On Sunday Mr Trump accused the media of "disparaging" his social media output.

"The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don't want America to hear the real story!" he tweeted.

Mr Namkai Meche and Mr Best were killed after they intervened when a man launched a verbal tirade against two teenagers on a train, one wearing a hijab. 

A third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was severely injured.

Tributes to the dead men have already been paid by other politicians, including Portland's mayor, Oregon governor Kate Brown and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who described their deaths as "heartbreaking".

President Trump has tweeted since the attack about the "success" of his trip to the Middle East and Europe, plans for tax cuts and healthcare, and his criticism of the media.

On Monday he tweeted a tribute to members of the armed forces who had been killed on active service for US Memorial Day.

<img data-cke-saved-src="https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/F5FF/production/_96257926_mediaitem96257925.jpg" src="https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/F5FF/production/_96257926_mediaitem96257925.jpg" datasrc="https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/F5FF/production/_96257926_mediaitem96257925.jpg" class="responsive-image__img js-image-replace" alt="" .@realdonaldtrump="" i'm="" a="" reporter="" in="" portland.="" do="" you="" have="" comment="" about="" what="" happened="" here="" friday="" night?="" thanks.""="" width="976" height="380" data-highest-encountered-width="624" style="border: 0px; color: inherit; font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; letter-spacing: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; height: auto; max-width: 100%; user-select: none; width: 616.203px; transition: opacity 0.2s ease-in; display: block;">Image copyrightTWITTER/@ROBWDAVIS

The suspected killer, Jeremy Joseph Christian - who police say had "extremist ideology" and allegedly said "all Muslims should die" during the attack - was later arrested.

In his open letter, veteran journalist Dan Rather suggested to Mr Trump that the murders did not "fit neatly into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail" because the victims "were not killed by an undocumented economic migrant or a 'radical Islamic terrorist'".

"I wish we could hear you say these names, or even just tweet them. They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist," Mr Rather wrote.


Media captionEyewitness Michael Kennedy said the stabbing was a terrorist attack

Destinee Mangum - the 16-year-old who was travelling with her friend when the attack took place - has also thanked the men for stepping in.

"I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn't even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look," she told local channel KPTV.

Close to 1,000 people gathered for a vigil in memory of Mr Namkai-Meche, 23, a recent college graduate, and 53-year-old army veteran Mr Best, a father-of-four, on Saturday evening.

More than $600,000 (£468,000) has been raised for all three men's families. 

Mr Fletcher is recovering after sustaining a knife wound to his neck that his mother said was "a millimetre" from his jugular vein.

Mr Christian, 35, is due to appear in court on Tuesday, charged with two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon. 

The FBI said it was still unsure if he will face charges for hate crime.

Share this story

Leave a comment

What others are reading
Otabil's statement on Capital Bank collapse ill-advised- Otu Acheampong
Akufo-Addo welcomes calls to sanitize gospel ministry
Employment Ministry chases Finance Ministry for over ¢200m refund
Where people party at 7-Eleven